Irvine’s high school graduates deserve the congratulations of the community, with extra acclaim for those receiving scholarships. The Irvine Heritage Park Friends of the Library awarded five $1,000 scholarships to seniors from Irvine, Northwood and Woodbridge High Schools.
Brittany Chen is a National Honor Society member at Irvine High School, an accomplished musician and the winner of a Heritage Award for extraordinary distinction in AP academics. She will attend Pomona College.
Lauren Kim of Woodbridge High School is an AP Scholar with Distinction, has been the school’s Science Olympiad Captain and was one of six students nationally to earn a trip to MIT for her studies in science. She will attend Yale University.
Irene Koo, also at Woodbridge HS, took AP Biology as a sophomore, founded the Biology Olympiad Club and was the managing editor of the student-run OC Scholar online newspaper and co-founded the ORION, an online science magazine. She is off to Columbia University.
Natasha Takahashi of Woodbridge HS is among the Future Business Leaders of America and was Teen Entrepreneur International Business Plan Champion. She’s a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and the Irvine Unified School District Pink Ribbon Club. She plans to attend USC.
Chris Zhou attends Northwood High School, which he represented at the Chemistry Olympiad. He is founder of both the Odyssey of Mind Club and Asian Education Project. An accomplished pianist who volunteers and performs at OC senior centers, Zhou will attend Duke University.
The scholarships are funded through funds generated from the Friends of the Library bookstore at Heritage Park, which provides more than $80,000 annually to the Heritage Park Library. So buy their books, and donate to your library, or portions thereof. heritagefol.com
Employees of the Year
IUSD recently announced its five Classified Employees of the Year, dedicated individuals who work hard serving students and their families.
Stonegate Elementary’s Meleah Shank, a P.E. Paraprofessional who also leads yoga sessions for students, was recognized for her commitment to students’ health and wellbeing.
Manny Lupercio, Head Custodian of Brywood Elementary who has been with IUSD for 15 years and was recognized for his high standard of professionalism and his dedication.
Kathy McCoy, who is in Nutrition Services at College Park Elementary, has been with IUSD for 11 years. She was honored for her customer service and commitment to student nutrition.
Lorianne Randell, a Media Tech from College Park Elementary, has been with IUSD for nearly 10 years. She helps students develop their technology skills, from typing to coding.
Kitty Fyfe, Special Education Analyst in the District Office, has been with IUSD for 22 years and received this recognition for her dedication to the Special Education department.
Teachers of the Year
Earlier in 2016, IUSD announced its teachers of the year.
Elementary School Teacher of the Year is Stacie Grooters, a science specialist at Culverdale Elementary School. She is known for infusing technology into her lessons to enhance the learning experiences, and is one of a handful of teachers in California to use augmented reality computers to develop engaging instruction for students.
Middle School Teacher of the Year is Henry Miller, a music teacher at Sierra Vista who has been with IUSD for 26 years. His dedication and constructive teaching style have made him a well-liked and respected teacher whose students not only excel, but love making music.
High School Teacher of the Year is Steve Sewell, a social science teacher at Irvine High School who has been with the district for 33 years. He organized an all-school canned food drive for a local homeless shelter and raised money for clean water in developing countries. Irvine HS had more students enter projects in National History Day than any other OC high school, thanks to his leadership.
Congratulations to these IUSD students, teachers and staffers. They are examples of the many people, including parents, who help make Irvine public schools excellent.