Manatee County Honors Students With Golden Herald Awards


MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) — Some of Manatee County’s top students are recognized for their hard work in the classroom and in the community.

On Thursday evening, April 14, the 45th annual Golden Herald Awards took place in Bradenton. The event brought together the county’s top high school students who competed for a chance to win a Golden Herald Award.

The awards honor outstanding high school students in Manatee County for their academics and noble service to their schools and community. Out of sixteen categories, a Golden Herald award winner and an honorable mention are awarded. The winners were selected through applications and personal interviews with a panel of judges.

The Golden Herald Awards were established in 1978 by the Bradenton Herald. Manatee Memorial Hospital is this year’s presenter.

“The history of the Golden Herald Awards goes back many years,” said Tom McDougal, CEO of Manatee Memorial. “I am simply overwhelmed with the quality of students applying for these scholarship opportunities, and what they have already achieved is so impressive. It takes a huge amount of time, dedication and focus to accomplish what they do.

The winners received a Golden Herald Medallion, a cash award and a trophy.

More than 5,500 high school students in Manatee County have been honored for their outstanding service to their school and community over the past 45 years.

The winners in the following categories are:


Winner – Haley Dragon, Braden River High School

Honorable Mention – Cyler Gabel, Palmetto High School


Winner – Jairis Gomez, Southeast High School

Honorable Mention – Ashton Lucas, Bradenton Christian School


Winner – Jordan Rydzinski, Manatee High School

Honorable Mention – Jenna Watson, South East Secondary School


Winner – Keile O’Dell, Manatee High School

Honorable Mention – Cecelia Marty, Parrish Community High School

Computer technology:

Winner – Jonathan Xavier, Southeast High School

Honorable Mention – Elijah Heskin, Southeastern High School


Winner – Gabriella Sgro, Southeast High School

Honorable Mention – Anna Valach, Braden River High School

English literature:

Winner – Jessica Burdette, Manatee High School.

Honorable Mention – Oreoluwa Owoeye, Parrish Community High School

A foreign language:

Winner – Elaine Yantas, SCF Collegiate School

General scholarship:

Winner – Denny Lu, Manatee High School

Honorable Mention – David Iten, Southeastern High School


Winner – India McKelvey, Parrish Community High School

Honorable Mention – Jocelyn Leal, Manatee High School


Winner – Liam Wilford, Braden River High School

Honorable Mention – Samuel Maurer, South East High School


Winner – Kevin Aguirre, Bayshore High School

Honorable Mention – Andrew Landers, Braden River High School


Winner: Madison Barendse, South East High School

Honorable Mention – Ally Adamo, Lakewood Ranch High School

Social science:

Winner – Jackson Conner, Saint Stephen Secondary School


Winner – Ronan Bray, South East Secondary School

Honorable Mention – Coleton Korney, Parrish Community High School


Winner: Emma Zolecki, Southeast High School

Honorable Mention – Mikaela Barton, Braden River High School

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