VENICE — Venice High School honored 33 students with a Golden Eagle Award at an outdoor event on Wednesday.
The Golden Eagle Award gives Venice High teachers the opportunity to recognize someone based on character over the course of the school year.
“It really is a nice award and focuses on the kids that went the extra mile,” Deborah Therrien said.
Therrien, who was in charge of the awards this year, said they particularly wanted to honor those students in a year like this.
Venice High Principal Eric Jackson, who selected a student this year, said the program celebrates students that do the right thing in the classroom and around campus.
“It’s a wonderful event to recognize students who may not get recognized normally,” said Jackson, who is in his last few weeks as principal.
Therrien said the awards hold a lot of meaning because the teachers get to choose one student after an entire year together, making it a special ending to the school year.
After the awards were handed out, she said, she told the students to hold on to the award because they are meant to be worn at graduation when their time comes.
After graduating, the students are then part of the VHS Golden Eagle Alumni.
The event is normally a large, formal event held in the Venice Performing Arts Center, but this year the event accommodated for COVID-19 restrictions and was held outside in the outdoor dining area of the school.
Students were allowed to bring their families to the outdoor event. Therrien said everyone came out and complied with the safety measures.
Jackson said the event is not only for the students but for the families as well. He described it as a “feel-good event” at which parents will tear up watching their children getting recognized.
“In a year that has been filled with challenge, frustration and exhaustion, these students have simply found a way to make the world a better, brighter and more beautiful place,” Therrien said in her welcome speech.