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Ritenour Huskies Earn Bountiful Accolades

Dozens of Ritenour High School students earned accolades throughout the spring of 2024 for their leadership, academic achievement and for their musical talent. Here’s a small sampling of our Huskies’ accomplishments.

Our Husky JROTC Battalion marked a historic milestone with their inaugural awards ceremony on April 30. Congratulations to Ritenour High School’s first-ever ROTC college scholarship recipient, Cadet Major Alba Valenzuela-Castillo. Her ROTC scholarship is valued at $81,000 toward her endeavors at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Additional accolades go to the other JROTC graduating seniors - Matthew Conners, Salvador Jimenez Ochoa, Perla Vasquez Montes, Sabbathot NDele, Darren Sparks and early graduate Gabriel Wooten.


We are beaming with Husky Pride after learning that RHS junior Jocelyn Garrido received a QUEST scholarship to go to Spain this summer as part of the AFS cultural and language immersion program. Jocelyn will spend two weeks with a family in Spain where she will be immersed in a local school and visit various historic and cultural destinations. The QUEST scholarship and additional funding from AFS-USA Faces of America is covering all of Jocelyn’s costs for this wonderful experience. She currently is in Spanish IV.

Quest Scholar

RHS Husky band student Riley Phil Panaligan earned a gold medal for his flute solo at the State Solo and Ensemble Festival at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Earlier this spring, he received an exemplary rating for his solar at the District Solo and Ensemble. Six Huskies received an Outstanding Rating at Districts: Audrey Buttry, Gabriella Kuhn, Reagan Roach as a woodwind trio; Kevin Rodriguez for his trombone solo; Ronald Johnson II and Jerry Barreda-Munoz, each for their alto saxophone solos; Julia Abdelhalim, Emma Hicks, Leela Irby, James Williams as a woodwind quartet; Braden Alanis for his soprano clarinet solo.

Riley and Braden

Riley Phil Panaligan and Braden Alanis

The Northwinds Band held a concert on April 21, which includes an ensemble of retired staff, current staff, Ritenour alumni and current students. Each year the Hawthorne Players honors a music student within the community with a scholarship. This year, they selected Ritenour senior Braden Alanis as the 2024 recipient of the Duckie DeMere Scholarship. 

On May 9, the Ritenour Board of Education welcomed new student representative Alazaya Rhae Smith, RHS class of 2025.  Although student representatives on the school board cannot vote, Smith will serve in an advisory position and provide a student perspective on important issues that the Board discusses. She will serve a one-year term and is the fifth student representative to serve on the Board. The Board also thanked outgoing student representative Hope Both, who served in the role for the past year. She plans to attend the University of Missouri.

Alazaya and Hope

Seniors James Miller and Flor Maria Quiroz Rivera, were recognized recently by St. Louis Community College’s STEM Academy for their achievements in the dual enrollment program. James earned 67 credits at STLCC while also earning credits at RHS, allowing him to graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in science. Greyson Eaton (not pictured) also earned an STLCC associate’s degree while finishing high school credits. Flor is graduating with 37 credits from STLCC, saving her more than a year’s worth of college tuition while in high school. Thanks to Ritenour’s dual enrollment program, RHS students can attend STLCC for free before they graduate, saving them thousands of dollars in college tuition

James Miller and Flor Maria Quiroz Rivera

Congratulations to Lillian Evans, a senior at both Ritenour High School and North Tech High School, who has been named a 2024 Special School District (SSD) Rosemary Zander Award winner! She was honored at the SSD Inspiring Futures ceremony on May 9, 2024.

Lillian Evans

RHS junior Michael Miller and sophomore Brenda Nash-Hicks were among 17 students from the region selected for the “Do the Right Thing” Award. Both were recognized for in April for promoting safety for students and staff at RHS. The recognition ceremony took place at the Bridgeton Police Department, where they were joined by RHS Dean of Students Dr. Lori Craig and Crisis Intervention Specialist Keaton Strong.  

Do the Right Thing Award

RHS Leadership students earned the recognition of being a 2023-2024 Gold All-State Honors Council from the Missouri Association of Student Council this year. The group also received special recognition from the Honor Council chairman for its March Madness Week-314 Day. Earlier this spring Betty Kassie was named the 2024 Distinguished Student Leader by the Missouri Association of Student Councils (MASC).

RHS Leadership