Recipients of Bulldog Excellence Awards demonstrate both P.R.I.D.E. Values and Character


Ki Joon Lee

Freshman Joshua Ong and sophomore Stephanie Tang created an unforgettable bond through Buddy Club every Wednesday lunch. They were both recognized by the counseling department for having a positive influence and creating an inclusive environment at the campus.

Shawyan Rooein and Ki Joon Lee

Select students of Portola High gathered in the theater on May 24 to receive awards for their excellence throughout the year and their personal drive inside and outside of the classroom.

Sophomores Jason Chen, Joyee Chen, Daniel Han, Joseph Kim, Julia Kim, Maya Sabbaghian, Stephanie Tang, Stephanie Zhang and freshmen Joshua Ong won the Top Dog Awards, given to only one person in each department, including social studies, math, physical education, science, performing arts, world language, visual arts, literary and language arts and counseling and educational services, respectively.

Approximately 70 additional students received the Bulldog Excellence Awards in the categories. These students were nominated by their teachers weeks prior to the event through discussions about character, performance and demonstration of the school’s values.

“All the things we talk about in P.R.I.D.E., this is the accumulation of that,” assistant principal Kris Linville said. “We’re trying to set the value that you can get an award and you can be recognized for the excellence outside the grade.”

Marking the closing of the school year, the awards gave recipients the chance to not only reflect upon their accomplishments throughout the past year but also anticipate the next school year.

“Personally for me math has been my subject. It really shows what I have been doing this year in math,” freshman and math excellence recipient Kevin Du said. “It definitely motivates me. I can be a person defined by math, and that’s what I want to be.”

After a jazz performance and assistant principal Amy Paulsen’s opening remarks, recipients of each category were called to center stage, seated with other recipients and given a certificate or plaque from the department chair. Meanwhile, families of the recipients took photos and applauded in celebration of the students’ achievements.

Several students received multiple awards in different categories. Tang is one such student as she received the Top Dog award for Visual Arts and Bulldog Excellence awards for math, literary and language arts and counseling and educational services. After the ceremony, she expressed gratitude towards the supportive staff and social environment.

“Even if you didn’t receive an award today, you should be really proud of yourself. You’ve worked really hard, you’ve taken new risks, and you definitely put your best foot forward,” Tang said. “Not just the people who received awards today because everyone at Portola is special, amazing, and we are a great school.”