Ending the school year with food, awards and improvisation
On Thursday 30 April, Parkland College had its annual end of the school year banquet. This event was hosted by the office of Student Life. For the first time ever, this event was held in the new Student Union building.
According to Activities Program Manager Chaya Sandler, the banquet was a great way to celebrate the culmination of a great school year, and commemorate the efforts that students and staff alike have made to make the student experience at Parkland wonderful.
The event was open to all clubs and organizations’ members, officers and advisors. Student Government members were also a part of the event. The Parkland Academy Team, Student ambassadors, and the Prospectus staff were also in attendance even though they are not clubs.
“This banquet is a way for the Student Life office to recognize, and let students know how much the student life office appreciates the time that each club puts into recruiting new members, and planning events on campus,” Sandler commented.
Due to the event being held on Parkland campus, the number of attendees had expanded and it was certainly higher than previous years.
“But next year I would love to have even more club members plan on attending,” Sandler added.
The event started at 6 p.m., as students started arriving and dinner was served. Chartwells catered the event and, according to students in attendance, the food served was excellent.
A photo booth was also setup and was available for the most of the night. Clubs and organizations alike got to choose from a veritable array of props and sign available at the photo booth and posed for shots.
Dr. Tom Caulfield, Director of the Student Life, presented the scholarships to students. Three awards were given out. Jenna Cheek of the Dental Hygiene program at Parkland was the winner of two awards; the Richard D. Norris Student Government Scholarship and the Student Activities Scholarship.
Jason Smith on the other hand won the Paul Simon Essay contest. According to Dr. Caulfield, Smith wrote a phenomenal essay about what his experience had been like at Parkland and how it changed his life. Smith’s essay inspired the judges so much that it was sent on to compete with other participants on the state level.
The Outstanding Achievement Award was given to club officers or member for their remarkable dedication to their organizations throughout the school and building a good calendar of events.
This award had two recipients, Kallista Lutes from Phi Theta Kappa won this award because she managed to remain a devoted member of her honors society despite having career goals to be an occupational therapist, a very busy schedule, working for a bridal entertainment company and remaining involved with her church. The second student to win this award was Mary from the Dental Hygiene program, she worked to design t-shirts, and organize events. Her club also donated almost $90,000 in free dental care to the community.
The outstanding Advisor Award was given to Lori Garret, who is the advisor of Phi Theta Kappa.
Moises Orozco, and Eduardo Coronel also presented recognition certificates to Comadre y Copadre program’s mentors, and former mentees who moved on to take the role of mentors.
After the presentation of awards, Mission IMPROvable, an improvisational group consisting of four members took the stage and put on a hysterical show that lasted almost ninety minutes. The performers intermingled with the guests, took suggestion from the audience, asked questions, made jokes and then jammed all of it together to create several different comedic acts.
One of the most liked acts put on by the performers was when they asked the audience to suggest the title for a Shakespearean play that had never been performed. College President, Dr. Tom Ramage came up with the name “A Midsummer Night’s Final Exam”. The group then proceeded to improvise a classic Shakespearean tragedy complete with accents and colloquial cadence of the sixteenth century England.
Several other equally entertaining acts were also performed and the group managed to keep the audience engaged and laughing throughout their performances. Students commented that the last part of the night was by far the most enjoyable and the hysterical performances put on by mission IMPROvable worked to lighten the stress they were feeling due to the approaching final exams.
All attending students and staff were given mason jars with a white ribbon bow and colorful straws (so they could have lemonade in it) as a memento of the event. Some lucky guests also got to take home the flower arrangements and green planters decorated on their tables as an extra token of appreciation by the office of student life. All in all, the general consensus among the students was that the end of the year banquet was well organized and enjoyable.