Accolades 2009-2010

June 2, 2010:Soquel High School had their Senior Awards presentation. For a copy of the list of awards as well as a list of some of colleges our seniors are attending, select one of the links below:



Soquel High School SCCAL spring sports awards

Taylor Powell, softball first team
Jessica Szyshowski, softball first team
Sydney Hall, softball first team
Britt Wiliams, softball first team
Valerie Silva, softball second team
Faith Apolskis, softball second team
Jillian Zeman, softball honorable mention
Katelyn Robb, softball honorable mention
Lauren Colfer, softball honorable mention
Annalise Bryant, softball honorable mention
Tanner Tedsen, lacrosse first team midfield

Soquel High is proud to acknowledge all of the 9 to 11 grade students who have excelled in many areas, grades, activities, and simple kindness. For a complete list click here.

Soquel High SCCAL Boys Volleyball Awards:

  • Co-Freshman of the Year: Graham Denevan
  • 1st Team: Alex Christensen 
  • 2nd Team: Jackson Case-Barnes and Chris Roberto

Boys Volleyball

CONCERT CHOIR TO PERFORM AT CARNEGIE HALL. The Soquel High School Concert Choir, under the direction of Mark Bidelman, has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in 2011 or 2012. The ensemble earned the invitation when they were awarded a gold rating for superior performance during the San Diego Heritage Festival.


Congratulations to the following students who were recognized by the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League.

  • Izaak Silva - first team catcher, baseball
  • Chris Starenos - first team infielder baseball
  • Evan Cusack, first team outfielder, baseball
  • Michael Culter - second team outfielder, baseball
  • John Tobin - high jump champion 6' 0.5"
  • Kendra Bonsall - 100 yard dash champion 12.69 seconds


Daniel Hodgin won the "Best Actor" award at Angels on Stage's Award Ceremony in April. He won for his role as "Col. Hathi" in AOS' production of "The Jungle Book". He also won the "Best Actor" award last year with AOS for his role as "The Scarecrow" in "The Wizard of Oz". Angels on Stage is a San Jose-based theatrical troupe for ages 5-22 with differing abilities.






Congratulations to Caitlin McConnell who was selected by the California Federation of Teachers to receive a Raoul Teilhet Scholarship in the amount of $3,000. She plans to attend Cal Poly SLO in the fall.

Congratulations as Soquel High Students Wax Poetic
Soquel High poets, Bundit Hongmanee, Tammi Greenberg, Michael Donnelley, Adrienne Lee and Jisoo Rim, were selected by Poetry Santa Cruz to have their original poems be included in an annual anthology and to attend a reading and Awards Celebration on Tues., May 18, 2010, at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. Students will be invited to read their poems and receive their copy of the anthology. Admission is free.

Bundit Hongmanee has written “Hate That Time,” Tammi Greenberg offers “What Do We Love", “Then and Now,” is the poem from Michael Donnelly, and are all students of Maggie Kline. Adrienne Lee received recognition for two poems, “The Human Factory,” and “The Insignificance of Whitewashed Walls,” who has Robyn Miranda as her teacher and Jisoo Rim’s poem, “From a Distance,” is a student of Lizann Keyes.

SHS MEC Academy Warms up with a Quilt Donation
The Soquel High School Green Manufacturing, Engineering and Construction (gMEC) Academy recently completed 25 "buddy" blankets and donated them to the Sheriff's Department through Officer Joe Clark. The students in the 11th grade gMEC Academy worked on the quilts in conjunction with a project in their English class. After reading Cannery Row, and learning that Dora and her "girls" made a quilt for the character, Doc, for his birthday, the students learned the intricacies of a sewing machine and stitched up 25 patchwork quilts. Officer Clark received the quilts and passed them along to the Campus Kids Connection programs in the Live Oak and Soquel school districts. Campus Kids Connection services low income preschool children. Quilting continues to be an on going skill that the students in gMEC will provide to groups in subsequent years.

Soquel High's National Honor Society was honored at The Outstanding County Volunteer Awards Ceremony on April 13th, 2010 for their participation in the Graffiti Removal Program for the past 3 years. 5 officers of Soquel NHS were at the ceremony to receive the certificate.

UCSC Friends of the Library “Dream Collection Essay Contest” Winners

1st notice:

Congratulations to Jesse Abrams and Autumn Mendoza (9thgrade) for both winning “Honorable Mention” awards at the UCSC Friends of the Library “Dream Collection Essay Contest”!

Jesse’s essay is titled “Tranquility of the Moment: The Alchemy of the Guitar” and explores his love of playing that instrument. Autumn’s essay is titled “Golden Opportunities” and reveals her passion about making jewelry with small metal construction. Both students will be honored at an awards ceremony up at UCSC this week. Good work, Jesse and Autumn!

2nd notice:
Congratulations to Soquel’s poets! Poems written by the following students have been selected for publication through the Santa Cruz County High School Poetry Competition:
  • Michael Donnely (11th): “Then and Now”
  • Tamara Greenberg (11th): “What Do We Love?”
  • Bundit Hongmanee (11th): “Hate That Time”
  • Adrienne Lee (12th): “The Human Factory” and “The Insignificance of Whitewashed Walls”
  • Jisoo Rim (11th): “From a Distance”

These poems will be published in the 2010 edition of Poetry Santa Cruz. Congratulations to all!

Commitment, Hardwork and Passion Win the Prize!!!!!
Soquel FFA is proud to congratulate Keli Van Den Heuval  for winning the Monterey Bay FFA Sectional Project Competition, Division I with her remarkable project in Therapeutic Horsemanship!! Keli has also been accepted to St. Andrews Presbyterian College's Equestrian Program in North Carolina to continue her work in Theraputic Horsemanship!!!!!  Congratulations for an incredible job!!!


The California Department of Education has awarded Soquel High School a California Partnership Academy grant to help refocus our Mechanical, Engineering and Construction (MEC) Academy on green industries. The gMEC received $29,000 for 2009-10, and will receive increasing amounts through 2013-14. The funds will be used to provide students specialized learning experiences that integrate academic knowledge and career skills. gMEC students will take specially designed English, social studies, and science courses plus courses through the Regional Occupational Program and at Cabrillo College in green manufacturing, construction, drafting, or engineering. Besides classroom and shop experiences, students will go on job shadows, hold internships and meet with career mentors. By the end high school, gMEC students will have received college-level training in a green career field, and will have logged work experience in this area.


Congratuations to Soquel High's music students, choir director Mark Bidelman and band director Jim Stewart. Our performing groups brought home the top prize for outstanding overall music program from the Heritage Music Festival in San Diego. All three bands and two choirs attended.

You can support this outstanding program and hear the winners in action at the Soquel Music Foundation Annual Calamari Dinner & Silent Auction on Saturday, May 1, from 6:30-9 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person.


Soquel High Fund treasurer Janet Edwards has been awarded an EDDY in the unsung parent hero category from the Santa Cruz Education Foundation. Congratulations Janet and thanks for all you do.

 Mr. SHS


Congratulations to Rodrigo Plaza for the win.  He will wear the crown proudly!  The other contestants were 1st Runner Up, Ryan Globus; 2nd Runner Up, Connor Alhart; Knight, Bryan Robinson; Wizard, Brandon Becker; Squire, Jesse Sanborn; and Jester, Kyle Mayfield.  A very special thanks goes out to English/Theater Arts Teacher, Ms. Kline, for orchestrating the evening’s festivities.  Thanks also to the judging staff of Counseling Assistant Principal, Rod Martin; English Teacher, Dian O’Reilly; Social Studies Teacher, Barney Levy; Head Custodian, Glenn Maynard; and Front Office Secretary, Cheryl C. Walton.  A great time was had by all of the standing-room-only crowd. Our thanks go out to the teachers that gave us a surprise opening act too.

 FFA – Congratulations to the Chapter Project Competition Winners:  First Place to Keli VanDenHeuvel and Runner-up to Christian Martin.


Congratulations to these Soquel High athletes honored for their league efforts in winter sports:
BenKay Kajihara, boys' soccer player of the year
Bobby St. Pierre, wrestling
Carly Nieminen, girls' soccer
Britney Jones, girls' soccer
Michaella Parelius, girls' soccer second team
Kendra Bonsall, girls' soccer second team
Rachel Herdon, girls' soccer second team
Becca Herndon, girls' soccer second team
Regine Graves, girls' basketball second team
Tess Dominguez, girls' basketball second team
Maddy Woodward, girls' basketball third team
Madison Rocha, girls' basketball honorable mention
Shane Frazier, boys' soccer first team
Rodrigo Plaza, boys' soccer first team
Anthony Gooch, boys' soccer first team
Sergio Gonzalez, boys' soccer first team
Enrique Fragozo, boys' soccer first team
Keaton Sprague, boys' soccer second team
Kyle Cohen, boys' soccer second team
Michael Cutler, boys' soccer second team
Kyle Mayfield, boys' soccer second team
Chris Roberto, boys' basketball second team
Zach Wiget, boys' basketball honorable mention

And to these coaches who help our students excel:

Girl's soccer co-coach of the year: Bri Wiles
Boys' soccer coach of the Year: German Plaza

Congratulations to the Soquel Varsity Boys Soccer Team for winning Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Championship for the first time in the school's 47-year history. Congratulations to players Kyle Cohen, Noe Cruz, Michael Cutler, Enrique Fragozo, Shane Frazier, Sergio Gonzalez, Anthony Gooch, Trevor Granados, Evander Hilton, BenKay Kajihara, Abraham Lopez, Daniel Lopez, Michael Macy, Kyle Mayfield, Rodrigo Plaza, Keaton Sprague, Guadalupe Luna and their coach German Plaza. Check out the story in the Santa Cruz Sentinel on Tuesday, February 16, 2010.

Congratulations Soquel High School Football team 2009 SCCAL Co-Champions

Soquel High football players on the All-League team:

  • First Team Offensive Line: Daniel Reyes
  • First Team Offensive Back: Niko Alarcon
  • First Team Linebackers: Matt Malone, Irving Figueroa
  • Second Team Offensive Back: Tyler Evey
  • Second Team Tight End: James Carson
  • Second Team Quarterback: Jacob Czuk
  • Second Team Defensive Back: Tevyn Gangloff
  • Honorable Mention: Michael Cameron, Kyle Dolton, Dalton McKenna, Dominic Miceli, Nathaniel Simonpillai

Other Fall 2009 SCCAL All team athletes

All SCCAL Girls Waterpolo 2009, League Champion: Soquel

  • MVP: Rachel Henry, Sr.
  • Coach of the Year: Ryan Chapatte
  • First Team: Rachel Henry, Sr.
  • Lindsy Knapp, Sr.
  • Second Team:
  • Natalie Olin, Soquel, Sr.
  • Emma Olin, Soquel, Jr.
  • Honorable Mention:
  • Casey Ferguson, Shelby White

All SCCAL Girls Volleyball 2009

  • Sophomore of the Year: Bria Morgan
  • First Team:
  • Megan Spencer, Senior
  • Bria Morgan, Sophomore
  • Second Team:
  • Natalie Morgan, Senior
  • Honorable mention
  • Camille Steber, Cassidy Donnaldon

All SCCAL Boys Water Polo 2009

  • League Champion: Soquel
  • MVP: Max Schell, Sop.
  • Junior of the Year: Daniel Schwartz
  • Sophomore of the Year: Collin Raisch
  • Freshman of the Year: Max Draga
  • First Team:
  • Dillon Foster, Sr.
  • Daniel Salyer, Sr.
  • Max Schell, Soph.
  • Second Team
  • Goalie: Daniel Schwartz Jr.
  • Dylan Aramburu, Sr. 
  • Calob Conroy Terzich, Jr. 
  • Honorable mention: Garrett  Ryan , Cullin Raish

Girls Golf

  • Second team: Lindsey Meyer

Girls Cross Country

  • Second Team: Katie Alioto, Soquel

Winning Students
Congratulations to Soquel High senior Rodrigo Plaza who won 1st place ($300!) in the Santa Cruz Rotary Club Speech Contest. Rodrigo now advances to the regional competition. Rodrigo has also been selected as part of CBDA All State Honor Band as a trombone player. Good work and good luck, Rodrigo!
Congratulations also to Kelly Payne (senior), who received the "Good Citizen Award" from the Santa Cruz Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. A picture of Kelly and the other award recipients was recently in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Yea, Kelly!

Congratulations Mock Trial Team
Soquel High's Mock Trial Team placed second overall, with the most awards given to one school ever.
Austyn Caisse- Best Closing argument and Best Defense attorney in the county
Rodrigo Plaza – Best opening argument in the county
Anthony Salvia – Best Bailiff
Lindsy Hutchinson – Best Witness
Congratulations to the SHS Mock Trial Team

Special thanks to Thornton Kontz and Alyce Prudden (volunteer attorneys) and Larry Hattis for mentoring this group.

High School Honors Concert
On January 16, 2010, in Salinas, 15 high school students from Santa Cruz City Schools performed in the 2010 High School Honors Concert organized by the California Association for Music Education Central Coast Section. High school students were selected by audition from among Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, and San Luis Obispo counties to perform in an honor choir, orchestra, or band. Participating students included Alissa Buck, Kayla Severson, Leanna Sadin, Nick Roberto, Shawn Fisher, Cole Fontes, Deanna Dawson, Moriah Quinn, Shannon Stewart, Ceres Lee, Grae Zimmerman, and Benjamin Ryan from Soquel High School.

Jim Stewart: Surfer turns band teacher through series of coincidences

Soquel High School's fabulous band instructor is the focus of a feature article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Check out the story about this great teacher and alumnus at the Sentinel.

Soquel music teacher Mark Bidelman and Principal Ken Lawrence-Emanuel accept a large check ($1,142.50) from Ed Warner, President of the Gold Standard Chorus, as a result of SING FOR YOUR LIFE, an annual fundraiser for music in our schools.


PUBLIC SPEAKING...more feared than death!!!
Congratulations to Monterey Bay FFA Sectional Public Speaking winners: Soquel FFA members Collin Taub, 2nd Place for the Freshmen Creed; Esmeralda Fregosa, 5th Place for Prepared Speech. Collin will continue on the to South Coast Regional Competition!!

Lady Knights Girls JV Basketball took 2nd place in the recent tournament held at Santa Cruz High. Way to go girls!

Six Soquel High students were accepted into the CCS Honor Band. Congratulations to Shannon Stewart, Moriah Quinn, Rodrigo Plaza, Ceres Lee, Ben Ryan and Grae Zimmerman.

Taylor Boling, Alissa Buck, Kayla Severson, Leanne Sadine, Shawn Fisher, Marcos Chavez, and Nick Roberto.

Deanna Dawsen

In order to be selected for the CCS Honor choir, band and orchestra the students must audition and are competing against students from Monterey, San Luis Obispo, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. Congratulations to the winners.

Several of our talented Soquel High Students will be performing in The Nutcracker ballet with the Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestra at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium for five shows on Dec. 18, 19, and 20, 2009. Our SHS dancers are seniors Emily Mullin and Callia Hansen; junior Daniella Baccaria; sophomores Courtney Jesberg, Gabbi Kamalani and Emily Scherer; and freshman Emily Rose. Tickets will be sold at the Civic Box Office and at the Studio of Classical Ballet, 479-1600. Bring your friends and enjoy the magic!