Scholastic Achievement Dinner


Brittany Travis, Co-Editor

The 40th Annual Scholastic Achievement Dinner sponsored by the Scholastic Achievement Foundation of Palm Beach County took place at the Breakers and honored the top students from 31 schools all over Palm Beach County. From our school the top seven were invited to attend, myself being number seven I barely made the cut. It started at 5:30 pm with a reception that lasted until 6:30 in a room so grandly decorated it made me feel even more out of place. We had our pictures taken and stood around mingling while drinking what I’m pretty sure was fruit punch. Servers were walking around with trays of hors d’oeuvres of lobster rolls and mini cheeseburgers, which were actually really cute.

After the reception we made our way into the dining room. There was a stage with two podiums set up in front of a wall lined with windows overlooking the ocean. We sat down and the event officially started with a welcome from May D. Gamble, the President of the Scholastic Achievement Foundation, who then introduced the Mistress of Ceremonies, Tiffany Kenney from Channel 25 News.  As our appetizers of mushroom strudel and Caesar salad were placed in front of us we were able to chat for a bit before the next activity started.

Now I personally felt that this next activity was dragged on for a bit too long. It was an exercise where you stood if what Kenney read out applied to you. For example one of the phrases was “stand if you are the valedictorian of your school.” The first 15-20 minutes of this was fine, and it was interesting to hear about all the accomplishments of students from schools we hardly ever hear about. It’s crazy how dedicated people are and the projects they have started, such as programs to help kids with special needs. However, after about 20 minutes of people I didn’t know standing and just clapping for them I was getting a bit tired. It wasn’t until we reached the 40 minute mark that the activity was ended and our dinners were brought to us.

We were given the choice of either chicken, beef tenderloin, or a vegetarian meal. I got the beef tenderloin and it was really good, it came with mashed potatoes, and broccoli. We were given time to eat and as we were eating they presented the scholarships of the night. There was a total of 18 four year scholarships awarded to students all over the county. As our desserts were being brought out it was announced that each student would be going up to the podium and introducing themselves to the room. We were told to say our name, the high school we’re graduating from, the college we will be attending, and what we plan to major in. This was the most nerve-wracking part of the night for us, there was over 200 people in this room and I only knew about 12 of them, myself included. Santaluces was one of the last groups to go up to the stage and at that point I highly doubt everyone’s full attention was on us, especially when the had chocolate cake in front of them. After we introduced ourselves the last few schools went up and closing remarks were made. The dinner had officially ended and the crowd was left waiting for our cars and leaving the Breakers.

Overall, the night was fun and the food was good, so there isn’t much to criticize. I’m glad I was able to be a part of it.