Honoring Excellence 2023: Students Recognized with Memorial and Pillar Awards

The Jivanti Rutansky Memorial Award

In honor of Jivanti’s memory, the Mount Madonna School faculty give one high school student and one middle school student an award in her name each year. These awards are presented to students who embody the qualities that made Jivanti such an important ambassador of our school mission. The recipients of this award will be engaged and dedicated members of the school community, empathetic and compassionate classmates, engaged and curious learners, honest and self-reflective individuals, and protectors of the environment. The recipients should demonstrate support of their classmates in their endeavors, and dedicate themselves to service.

  • Zoey Ocampo-Sobkoviak, 12th
  • Noa Zands, 8th


Middle and High School Pillar Awards

Mount Madonna School has continued the tradition started in 2013, of presenting awards to students in middle and high school whose achievement in one of the areas of our school’s three pillars – Academic Excellence, Creative Self-Expression and Positive Character Development – was outstanding. These three areas are equally important to success at Mount Madonna School – and, indeed, in the world.

The following students received were recognized for 2022-23:

Academic Achievement

Showing outstanding critical thinking and writing skills, thoughtful self-expression, and honest reflection as part of the learning process; with a personal commitment to learning that balances both comprehensive understanding and in-depth inquiry in multiple disciplines.

  • Mariah Cohen, 12th
  • Cy Harris, 11th
  • Lucy Harris, 10th
  • Rosemary Konviser, 9th
  • Kenzie Culbertson, 8th
  • Sophia Krawetz , 7th
  • Nolan McKibbin, 6th

Creative Self-Expression

Immersing themselves in the creative process that includes cognitive learning, teamwork, direct experience, reflection and mutual appreciation; creatively expressing him/herself in all academic coursework; experiencing the creative process such that the student overcomes perceived limitations and intuitive intelligence emerges; valuing the collaborative process where individual effort and a willingness to sacrifice for the greater whole result in an inspiring and fulfilling experience.

  • Sam Kaplan, 12th
  • Cooper Padilla, 11th
  • Chloe Smith, 10th
  • Kyler Nishimura, 9th
  • Delmi McWilliams, 8th
  • Marlowe Yen. 7th
  • Minami Wu, 7th
  • Felix Alvarado, 6th

Positive Character Development

Reflecting positive ways of dealing with whatever situation is confronting them; dedicated to a spirit of non-harming, cooperation and respectful relationships; striving to realize positive values such as compassion, honesty, cooperation, fairness, dedication and human decency in their daily lives; taking initiative to lead and to serve, take responsibility, acquire self-discipline; and to care for others.

  • Zoey Ocampo-Sobkoviak, 12th
  • Anya Gonzalez11th
  • Ona Musoll-Buendia, 11th
  • Adriana Lopez Espinoza, 10th
  • Eden Fisher , 9th
  • Romy Sirk-Traugh, 8th
  • Rory Kayne, 7th
  • Giavanna Iacocca, 6th


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, director of marketing & communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 375 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a diverse learning community dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believes a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.