Seniors Have Their Day

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

June 6, 2024

Morro Bay High School recently held its annual Senior Awards Ceremonies, packing the student body into the school gym to honor and recognize the seniors a week before the end of their high school days.

School Principal, Scott Schalde emceed the festivities, which for the first time welcomed eighth graders from Los Osos and Cayucos Middle Schools, both of which feed students into MBHS.

Schalde’s orations sang the praises of a very accomplished and varied senior class of 2024, with a few surprises thrown in.

Among the first things the principal spoke about was the work ethic of the students, saying that “70-percent of these students had a job during their time as a student at Morro Bay High School.” He added that in total, the class members had donated “thousands of hours of community service.”

Over 27% have a 4.0 or better grade point average, Schalde said. 

As a class they were awarded some $412,000 in scholarships with $168,000 coming from local scholarship awards. “We could not be more grateful to our community,” Schalde said.

Colleges all over the country will welcome MBHS 2024 graduates. Ninety-four of the students “plan to continue their educations at a community college,” Schalde said. “Many of these students having been accepted to universities, but they are making the best decision, financially, and personally for themselves.”

Fifty-nine students are going from high school directly to 4-year universities, while two plan to attend trade schools. And two are entering the military, Schalde said.

Against a backdrop of pennants from different universities, and each college-bound senior wearing a T-shirt or sweatshirt with their destinations emblazoned on the front, Schalde ran down a list of the schools their graduates will attend.

“Some of the colleges MBHS grads will attend,” he said, “are Cal Lutheran University, Cal Poly Humboldt, Cal State Eastbay, Cal State Monterey Bay, Central Washington University, Chico State, Colorado State University, Concordia University Irvine, CSU Northridge, Fresno State, Fullerton State, Grand Canyon University, Harvard University, Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount University, Menlo College, Montana State University, and, Oregon State University.”

He continued, “Point Loma, Portland State, Purdue University, Sacramento State, Saint Mary’s , San Diego State, San Francisco State, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, Savannah College of Art and Design, Simpson University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, University of Canterbury, University of Chicago, University of Montana, University of Nevada Reno, University of Oregon, University of San Francisco, University of Toronto, University of Utah, University of Washington, and Western Washington University.”

Principal Schalde also awarded the Good Guy and Good Gal Awards, given to “recognize senior athletes who not only excel in their sport,” he said, “but also demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship, leadership, and support for all of our athletic programs. This award is given to athletes who have a great attitude both on and off the field, and who represent our school in a positive and respectful way. Through this award, we hope to encourage and recognize athletes who are not only skilled in their sport, but who also demonstrate these important values.”

The awards went to Caleb Calhoun and Maddy Plumlee.

He also recognized the Male and Female Athletes of the Year. “An athlete of the year,” he said, “is someone whose commitment to excellence is evident in every game, every practice, and every challenge they have faced. The achievements of these athletes have set a standard of excellence that will be remembered for years to come.”

He said the coaches deliberated over the picks “for over three hours to select our athletes of the year.” The Female Athlete of the Year was a three-way tie between Josephine Davis, Jane Hotaling, and Fiona Durham. The three’s names will now be etched onto the perpetual trophy along with other winners since the award’s inception in 1976.

Our Male Athlete of the Year is a two-time CIF champion, and he will return to Morro Bay next year as a senior, attempting to win a third CIF title. “Please join me in congratulating  

the 2024 Male Athlete of the Year junior, Shea Dawson., who joins a list of honored athletes dating back to 1961,” Principal Schalde said.

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