Annual awards banquet honors students who showcase academic and athletic brilliance


At any given high school, you’ll find those those who excel in the classroom and those who shine on the athletic field. And then there are those exceptionally talented individuals who do both.

It just so happens the Irvine Unified School District has quite a few student-athletes in the latter category, and last week many of them were honored at the 37th annual Irvine Senior Scholar Athlete Awards Banquet, sponsored by Vizio and hosted by The Exchange Club of Irvine.

The June 10 breakfast, held at the Irvine Marriott, recognized a total of 32 seniors – that’s eight from each of IUSD’s four comprehensive high schools – who have distinguished themselves with their academic skills and athleticism, undoubtedly drawing the attention of universities near and far.

From Irvine High School, the standouts included Zoya Farzaneh, Kristan Liddle, Nicole Robison, Analicia Silva, Chris Del Carlo, Brandon Phillips, Kirill Sergeyev and Thien Tran.  

Northwood High’s honorees were Erica Chean, Melissa Kan, Christa Kondru, Aviv Lazar, James Hartshorne, Brian Pione, Kyle Purzcycki and Zach Weiss.

University High was represented by Sara Arastoo, Alexandra Carlton, Lauren Parrett, Carolyn Wu, Cameron Bennett, Alexander Kiperman, Benjamin Kwan and Anthony Nguyen.

And Woodbridge High School celebrated Erin Beadle, Ava Fujimura, Sara McCutchan, Ashley Ward, Thomas Cobbs, Derrick Fleming, Tad Fowler and Michael Zablan.

The Exchange Club of Irvine first began lauding Irvine’s student-athletes back in 1974. Since then, more than 800 young men and women have been honored, with most going on to pursue professions outside of athletics.

Of course, there are exceptions. Some of the more recognizable names include Tim Wallach, Adam Keefe, Bob Hamelin and the Oden sisters – Kim, Elaina and Beverly.

This year’s scholar-athletes were once again selected by a committee made up of high school athletic directors and Exchange Club members. To read a column about the banquet written by Tim Burt of the Orange County Register, click here.