Claire Patton Wins Annual Choir Award


Nahya Pelito, Section Editor

The lights brighten. Her name echoes into the microphone. The audience stands up and applauds. Sophomore Claire Patton won the Darling Daisy Award.

During the Vista del Lago final winter choir concert award night on December 15, 2017, the Darling Daisy award was given for the first time to Patton. Seniors Hannah Nunes and Megan Zsoka created the idea of recognizing the special talents and hard work of a positive student.

Patton is the very first special education student to win such an award. It’s not every year that a special education student at Vista wins an award, let alone the first of an award.

There were roughly one-hundred people at the final Winter Choir Concert that night. “Sadly she wasn’t there, she left early so we gave her the award later with flowers and a little microphone,” Nunes stated.

During her free time, Patton likes to sing and draw. “Claire’s just so happy all the time when she comes into class and she’s really cute, she just always has a positive attitude about music and she always tries her hardest to learn all the songs,” Nunes said.

The Darling Daisy award was different from the other awards given that night. The senior class came together and chose someone who was most deserving.

“I talked to Mrs. Carlson about it because I wanted to recognize not only Claire, but other kids who work really hard at choir and come to choir everyday with a positive attitude,” Nunes said.

Patton gave her thanks to Elicia Carlson, “because she’s a nice one”.

Carlson is the director of the many music programs at Vista— Concert Band, Concert Choir, String Orchestra, Beginning Guitar, and Drumline and Pep Band.

“I was so touched when Hannah Nunes approached me about the seniors wanting to recognize one of our hardest working choir members with a special award,” Carlson stated.

Elizabeth Sutami, Inclusion Teacher and Special Education Division Leader at Vista, felt “proud of her for doing a good job in choir and happy that the other students recognized that she was trying her best even though she did refuse to sing some of the songs.”

Sutami noticed that after receiving the award, Claire didn’t act any different in class but she was indeed very happy.

“Claire Patton showed so much positivity and perseverance this year. I am thrilled that our seniors recognized that and wanted her to know that they appreciated her contributions to our ensemble,” Carlson said.

Only a few of Sutami’s students are integrated into some of the clubs on campus. Special needs students try to participate in many ways, including clubs that require on-campus participation.

“The clubs are a lot harder for them to be integrated in because they’re after school and their parents would have to bring them to the club,” Sutami stated.

“As far as things during school, we always try to get my students in the electives that interest them like art, music, and I’ve had a lot of students take guitar and dance– whatever they’re interested in. It’s easier to schedule them in the class.” Sutami said.

Things are looking bright for the future of the special education program as students are slowly becoming recognized for their work ethic and contributions to class with the help of other fellow Vista students.