The student voice of Berkeley Preparatory School

The Fanfare

The student voice of Berkeley Preparatory School

The Fanfare

The student voice of Berkeley Preparatory School

The Fanfare

    Seniors Vinny Sharma and Bailey Higgins Receive Top Distinctions

    The Fanfare interviewed the two award winners to get their perspectives on their respective successes and awards

    Berkeley’s two most prestigious awards, the Headmaster’s Award and the Betty Bruce H. Hoover Award, are given annually to two Upper Division students who showcase Berkeley’s true spirit and culture. This year, the Headmaster’s Award was given to Vinny Sharma ’24, and the Betty Bruce H. Hoover Award was given to Bailey Higgins ’24.

     

    Headmaster’s Award:

    The Headmaster’s Trophy is awarded each year to a student who never fails to represent the true spirit of Berkeley. Since this award is considered the most prestigious award given to a student, the selection process involves both faculty and the Upper Division student body. Students were asked to nominate a fellow student who they believe exemplifies the Berkeley spirit and helps make the Berkeley community a better place. Faculty members then vote on these nominations to determine the recipient of the award. This year’s winner of the Headmaster’s Award was Vinny Sharma ’24.

    DESERVED RECOGNITION: Headmaster Joseph Seivold presents Vinny Sharma ’24 with the Headmaster’s Trophy. (Photo credit: Chris Woods)

     

    “As Mr. Seivold read the description of the recipient for the award, my heart began to beat faster and faster. I was honestly overwhelmed with a feeling of appreciation and gratitude,” said Sharma.

     

    Sharma served as vice president of the student body during the 2023-2024 academic year, and he was involved in numerous clubs such as the math club, Masala Mix, the physics club and the computer science club to name just a few. Sharma was also a recipient of the 50th Anniversary Service Scholar Award and a member of the Honor Council. 

     

    Throughout all of his activities, Sharma’s commitment to school spirit has been unwavering. Students and faculty alike have recognized that Sharma’s presence on campus will be greatly missed next year as he moves on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and so they have chosen to present him with this prestigious award.

     

    Sharma stated that he will value the community he found at Berkeley for the rest of his life. “The friends that I’ve found at Berkeley will definitely be friends of mine for a lifetime.”

     

    Sharma feels as though winning the Headmaster’s Award brings his Berkeley experience full circle: “Winning the Reynolds-Hollingsworth award in 5th grade, the Everett L. Redmond award in 8th grade, and now the Headmaster’s Trophy as I graduate feels like a culmination of everything I’ve worked towards and a celebration of the community that has shaped me,” he said. 

     

    Betty Bruce H. Hoover Award:

    Established in 2000, the Betty Bruce H. Hoover Award takes its name from the former Upper Division director. The award is given annually to a student who selflessly inspires others and positively impacts the Berkeley community. This year’s recipient of the Betty Bruce H. Hoover Award was Bailey Higgins ’24.

    UNSUNG HERO:  Bailey Higgins ’24 poses alongside Upper Division Director Ryan Jordan with the Betty Bruce H. Hoover Award. (Photo credit: Chris Woods)

     

    “I was not expecting any award on that day. I was stunned that the faculty and staff recognized me as a kid that had an influence on Berkeley,” Higgins said. 

     

    Higgins was involved in the student forum and student library proctors as well as being a key member of the girls’ volleyball and beach volleyball teams, but her presence has been felt all around campus. She has also been known to wear the Bucky costume and greet students at events such as the Rising 9th Grade Barbeque. Higgins values uplifting her fellow students in all their endeavors, whether they are academic, athletic or artistic.

     

    “Not only are the kids here crazy smart, but they are even more talented and creative. I love going to athletic events to watch students compete, but I also love going to the fall plays and spring musicals,” said Higgins. 

     

    Without a doubt, Higgins’ unwavering support for her peers throughout her time at Berkeley led her to make a positive impact on everyone, even people she does not know personally. She mentioned in her interview that a student she had never spoken to before asked to sign her yearbook, and this confirmed for her that she had left a beneficial mark on Berkeley.

     

    Higgins said, “I don’t think she knows it but that girl made my time at Berkeley complete. This meant that I had left a positive footprint at this school.”

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