Lynnwood High School volleyball, girls basketball and track and field star Grace Douglas received the top honor Tuesday night as the Edmonds School District recognized a total of 17 scholar-athletes along with coaches and community members during the district’s 13th annual banquet Tuesday night. Douglas, who will graduate with a 3.97 GPA, received a $4,500 scholarship. She will attend Whitworth University and major in either education or physical therapy.
One of Douglas’ Lynnwood High School basketball teammates Jasmin Edwards, who sports a 4.0 GPA, also was named a top scholar athlete. Since Edwards will attend Central Washington University on a full-ride basketball scholarship, she did not receive a monetary award, said District Athletic Director Julie Stroncek.
The 17 students chosen to be recognized — four athletes at each of the district’s comprehensive high schools plus one student athletic trainer — were not only stellar athletes in at least two sports, but also had significant academic and community service credentials. In addition, the event recognized an outstanding coach and a community contributor from each of the four high schools.
Stroncek also presented her own recognition — the Director’s Award — to long-time Edmonds School District teacher and coach Mike Pittis. A 1964 graduate of Edmonds High School, Pittis began teaching at Edmonds Junior High in 1968, where he coached JV baseball, and also coached at College Place Middle School, Edmonds High School and the merged Edmonds-Woodway High School. He was named the head volleyball coach in 1985 and served in that role for 25 years — five years at Edmonds High School and 20 at Edmonds-Woodway — and is “one of the most celebrated coaches in the history of the Edmonds School District,” Stroncek said.
While Pittis officially retired from coaching in fall 2010, he has been serving as a volunteer coach for the EWHS volleyball program ever since, Stroncek said. “He has made an incredible impact on this community,” she added.
Here are the athletes, coaches and community members recognized by each school’s athletic coordinator:
Edmonds-Woodway High School
Travis Baaken: football, basketball; 3.2 GPA, attending Central Washington University, $1,500 scholarship
Tate Budnick: basketball, baseball; 3.5 GPA, attending Everett Community College, $2,500
Djenne Dickens: swim, track & field; 4.0 GPA in International Baccalaureate program, attending Lehigh University, $4,000
Savannah Van Citters: soccer, track & field; 3.78 GPA International Baccalaureate, attending Gonzaga University, $2,000
Coach: Dan Somoza, baseball, who has taken the Warriors to state three out of the past four years he has been the program’s head coach.
Community member: Long-time parent volunteer and Sports Booster Club auction organizer Chris Thuesen.
Meadowdale High School
Annelise Blanchard: volleyball, dance, golf; 3.65 GPA, attending University of Washington, $1,500
Josiah Evans: football, basketball; 3.4 GPA, attending Washington State University, $1,500
Chikodinake Ezeokeke: cross country, basketball, track & field; 3.84 GPA, University of Washington, $4,000
Megan Hoppe: soccer, track & field, cross country; 4.0 GPA, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, $2,000
Coach: Kimberly Berry, cheer coach, who has led the Maverick cheer squad to state titles three times in the past five years
Community member: Debra Davenport, who continues to work in the school’s concession stand, chaperone dances and perform other volunteer tasks even though her son graduated in 2012.
Lynnwood High School
Grace Douglas and Jasmin Edwards (see information above)
Kayla Schmidt (athletic trainer): soccer, track; 3.5 GPA, Washington State University, $1,500
Ryan Tsuji: tennis, baseball; 3.99 GPA, University of Washington, $3,000
David Vo: football, basketball, track & field; 3.23 GPA, Cascadia Community College, $2,500
Coach: Sara Hall, softball coach, cited for her “positive and encouraging” work with her players.
Community member: Tami Salvati, Booster Club President, for her work to grow the club membership.
Mountlake Terrace High School
Greg Bowman: basketball, track & field, cross country; 3.96 GPA, University of Washington, $2,500
Maddy Kristjanson: soccer, basketball, softball; 3.46 GPA, Seattle University, $3,000
Brittany Kinsella: tennis, cheer; 3.667 GPA, Central Washington University, $3,000
Jack Pearce, cross country, track & field; 3.74 GPA, Gonzaga University, $2,000
Coach: Nalin Sood, boys basketball coach, who not only regularly takes his teams to post-season play but also has been just the third basketball coach in the school’s 54-year history.
Community member: Lynn Baisch, who not only religiously works the concession stand but also volunteers in whatever capacity is necessary.
Master of ceremonies for the event was long-time school district broadcaster Al Rasmussen. Scholarship, coach and community awards, as well as banquet costs, were funded by donations; the My Neighborhood News Network (My Edmonds News/Lynnwood Today/MLTnews) funded a coaches award.