Sunday, March 1, 2015

Da Vinci graduates get very personal send-offs

With tears in her eyes, Alexis Ortiz walks up to receive her diploma at Tuesday evening's Da Vinci High School commencement ceremony at UC Davis' Freeborn Hall. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

From page A1 | June 06, 2012 |

Da Vinci Charter Academy may have sent its largest graduating class yet out into the world on Tuesday night, but the ceremony itself retained the same personal, intimate feel it had back when the very first Da Vinci graduates received their diplomas seven years ago.

As they were back then, each of the 109 graduates this year were personally introduced by a faculty member, who described the student’s personality and strengths, what he or she brought to Da Vinci, and what will be missed about them.

The hundreds of family members and friends who filled Freeborn Hall on the UC Davis campus also were treated to 15-second video clips made by each of the students to thank family, friends and teachers for their support over the years.

Full of childhood photos, music and clever graphics, the videos evoked many laughs, as well as some tears from the audience.

So, too, did the comments about each of the graduates.

English and social studies teacher Tyler Millsap called graduate Danya Axelrad-Hausman “a daily source of kindness, compassion and positivity all across the Da Vinci campus.”

Julianna Arvin, he said, is a “deeply humble and understated person … but an academic rock star.”

On the other hand, Indigo Angell, said Millsap, is the guy to see “if you plan on getting a tattoo anytime soon.”

Principal Rody Boonchouy called Sianna de la Cruz “steely determination wrapped in a sunshine-infused smile” and Benjy Egel “a constant positive force,” not to mention “classy, stylin’ and an all-around gentleman.”

Mikako Grain, said science teacher Zach Ronneberg, produces artwork “that is revered at Da Vinci and beyond,” while Luke Hampton, he said, is “kind of annoying to folks like you and I (because) he’s just so darn good at everything.”

Karla Palomino was described as someone whose “Hula-Hooping skills can put us all to shame,” while Alex May, Jake McCann and Alex Walker were recognized for their significant contributions to the school’s Citrus Circuits robotics team.

Of Jesse Karban, it was said, “if you’re a kid, and you’re friends with him, consider it a privilege.”

Science teacher Bekah Rottenberg echoed a friend who said Vanessa Rivas-Bernardy “is one of the few people I know who will actually make a difference” in the world.

And Catia Romero, she said, “is one of the most kind, easy-going, quick-to-laugh students I’ve ever met.”

Just before Eli Siegel was to be handed his diploma, his classmates, and the crowd, broke out into a rendition of “Happy Birthday” — evidence, a teacher said, of how beloved he is by his classmates.

Graduate Henry Spivey, who wants to become an entrepreneur, was described as “Donald Trump with a soul … and better hair,” and classmate Carson Stone as “the one of the kindest people we know … with an amazing ability to make people happy.”

It wasn’t all talk and videos of course. Like all graduation ceremonies, there were awards to be presented, including the annual essay scholarship awards bestowed by Da Vinci’s Booster Club. This year, two students won for their essays on how Da Vinci contributed to their personal growth and prepared them for the outside world — Clare Leary and Chloe Troung-Jones.

The school’s Compass Award, presented to students who provide unique guidance and leadership to their fellow students and faculty, also went to two students this year: Samuel Warren and Emily Wilcox.

And a scholarship for $1,000 from Davis Waste Removal went to Melissa Bradford.

In talking about the graduating class, Boonchouy called the students critical thinkers, collaborators and communicators, all well-prepared for what lies ahead.

“We enthusiastically look forward to hearing all the news about all of you,” he told them.

No doubt there will be lots to hear.

Said graduate Samantha Adamson: “Watch out, world. Here we come.”

Looking on in the crowd were Da Vinci’s two former principals — Pam Mari and Matt Best, who both now work in the district office — as well as Superintendant Winfred Roberson and several school board members.

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at [email protected] or (530) 747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy

The Da Vinci High School Class of 2012 includes:

Samantha Adamson, Andre Almeida, Shlok Amin, Indigo H. Angell, Julianna Arvin, Danya Axelrad-Hausman, Ryan Banwarth, Johann Baptista, Mallory Claire Barnes-Ohlson, Fynn Becker, Lisa Morgan Bell, Anthony Michael Berardi, Grace Blacker, Hannah Bohte, Hannah Nicole Boney, Luke Bowlus, Melissa Joy Bradford, Augustus Brandt, Max Samuel Brumer, Lukas Buck, Bronwyn Burns, Miles Harrison Burr, Margaret Campos, Benjamin Canning, Natalia Luisa Chess, Sierra Clark, Alexander James Clubb.

Sianna de la Cruz, Cedric Duffy, William DuPratt, Iris Eddy, Benjamin Egel, Melecio Estrella, Owen T. Filmer, Parker Fritch, Owen Goodwin, Mikako Enid Grain, Max Aaron Green, Luke Hampton, Amanda Hart, Nikolas Harter, Harrison Christian Hedriana, Amber Marie Hill-Newbury, Adonis Blue Real Kalalang-Branscumb, Jesse Karban, Ruth Krabacher, Layla M. Kutternig, Sean Brian Larimore, Alexander Lascher-Posner, Clare Morgan Leary, Nathan Harris Lefkoff.

Jennifer Margarita Lopez, Alexander James Magrino, Dylan Reis Malloy, Simon Marliere, Alexander May, Jacob McCann, Innis Mccomb, Nicholas P Mead, Miley Veale Meads, Brenna Mockler, Yoshi Moore, Fallon O’Neill, Alexis Ortiz, Yuriko Oto, Caroline M. Paikoff, Karla Palomino, Dominic Amos Perez, Averi Pollard, Anvi A. Purohit, Matthew Michael Ramirez, Alexander Rendahl, Emma Reynolds, Andrew Ricci, Vanessa Rivas-Bernardy, Madelyn Roblee, Nigel Roderick Robles, Alani M. Rojas, Sid Xavier Romero, Catia Romero, Ian Andrew Rosner, Rebecca Rubin, Shanthi Russell.

Alexandra Ellen Sanders, Eli Siegel, Jennifer Silva, Samantha Nicole Simes, Benjamin Slavich, Henry Spivey, Brede  Stokland, Rowan Stewart, Carson Stone, Elizabeth Strnad, Aditya V. Sundaresan, Benjamin Tennenbaum, Jesse James Tessmer-Fields, Kalley Thompson, Robert Lee Thompson, My Tran, Chloe Madeleine Truong-Jones, Brian S. Varley, Alexander James Walker, Samuel Caspar Warren, Emily Mae Wilcox, Conor Wuertz, Destinee Sage Yarrow-Camacho, Peter J Young, Zachary David Zehnder.



Anne Ternus-Bellamy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

    By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Child abduction case in jury’s hands

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

    Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

    Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    MU Games closing in late March

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Still no parole in toddler case

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    City offers wetlands tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Radio talk show moves to Mondays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Assault awareness campaign kicks off

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Young patients bond with special stuffies

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9



    Milt Priggee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

    Rowing: PE as well as life skills

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Police complaint procedures drafted

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Clarifying energy update letter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Weekly claw pickup necessary

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    City may get charged up over energy choices

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    Design innovation centers for the 21st century

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

    Speak out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

    Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

    Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7



    Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B10







    Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery





    Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8