The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) today announed Florida’s 2014 Academic All-State team, an honor the recognizes not just athletic accomplishments but also academic and community achievements. The group of 24 student-athletes from around Florida features eight valedictorians, one salutorian, 10 three-sport athletes and four four-sport athletes.
With 12 boys and 12 girls named to the 2014 Academic All-State team, this year marks the 20th consecutive year for the scholarship program, which each year provides $30,000 in scholarships to deserving scholar-athletes.
“These exceptional individuals represent the very best of what it means to be a student-athlete,” said FHSAA Executive Director Dr. Roger Dearing. “More important than developing outstanding athletes is our goal to develop outstanding citizens, and we are proud to recognize those who have what it takes to be leaders in their communities for many years to come.”
To be eligible for selection to the Academic All-State Team, a student-athlete must be a graduating senior, have a cumulative unweighted grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, and have earned a varsity letter in at least two different sports during each of his or her junior and senior years. The members were chosen from among more than 150 qualified candidates at the Association’s 685 member schools, with the honorees selected based on academic record, athletic participation, non-athletic activities, community service and an essay.
Each of the 24 Academic All-State Team members will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the FHSAA and will be celebrated at a June 9 banquet in Gainesville. One male and one female student-athlete from the team will receive the FHSAA’s most prestigious honor: Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Recipients of that honor will be announced during the banquet, and the duo will receive additional $3,000 scholarships and a special trophy.
In alphabetical order by gender, the members of the 2014 FHSAA Academic All-State Team are:
• Lourdes Brea, Lourdes Academy (Miami) – Lourdes is the daughter of Julio and Mercy Brea. She has a 4.0 grade point average, is an Advanced Placement Scholar and a National Merit Semifinalist, and ranks sixth in her senior class of 574 students. Lourdes earned varsity letters in cross country and track and field all four years of high school. During her four years of high school, she was an avid participant in Key Club, Physics Club, National Honor Society and Math National Honor Society. Lourdes was very involved with the community by volunteering at the ING Marathon, middle schoool races and Blue Lakes Austism Academy, and by tutoring math and science. She will attend the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, and plans to study mechanical engineering.
• Riley Burke, Benjamin School (West Palm Beach) – Riley is the daughter of Timothy and Karen Burke. An Advanced Placement Scholar, Princeton Book Award recipient and Columbia Scholar-Athlete Award winner, Riley has a 3.9 grade point average. She earned varsity letters in basketball – recording 1,000 points as a sophomore – and track and field all four years of high school, and was a Wendy’s Heisman State Finalist and McDonald’s All-American Nominee. Riley was the founder and president of the Sunshine Club and was also a violinist, a staff writer for the student newspaper, and part of the Business of Sports Club. Her dedication to her community was demonstrated through more than 400 hours of community service, including Dreyfoos High School ARTS Summer Camp. Riley plans to attend Columbia University in New York City to study neuroscience and music.
• Brooke Faulkner, Naples – Brooke is the daughter of Greg and Kathy Faulkner. She has a 4.0 grade point average and is ranked seventh in a senior class of 269 students. She has achieved the Smith Book Award, Adavanced Placement Scholars Award and a certificate of Academic Excellence. Brooke has earned varsity letters in soccer and tennis all four years of high school. She served as treasurer of her class and as a member of National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society and Interact Club throughout high school. She volunteered her time with Grace Place, the soup kitchen and the Salvation Army. This fall, Brooke plans to attend Babson College in Wellesley, MA, or Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, to earn a degree in finance.
• Mollie Johnson, Gulf Breeze – Mollie is the daughter of Thomas and Venetia Johnson. With a 4.0 grade point average, she is valedictorian of Gulf Breeze High School and has achieved a National Advanced Placement Scholar Award and the Florida Scholar Award. She has earned three varsity letters in soccer, two in volleyball and one in track and field. She was class president in her sophomore and junior years, Student Body Parliamentarian as a senior and a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Mock Trial, Optimist Service Club and Student Advisory Council. Mollie has aquired 500 hours of community service throughout her four years of high school. She will attend Yale University in New Haven, CT, where she plans to study poltical science.
• Caroline King, Robinson (Tampa) – Caroline is the daughter of Peter and Beth King. A recipient of National Merit Commendation, she has a 4.0 grade point average and is ranked ninth in a senior class of 323. Caroline has earned four varsity letters in soccer, three in flag football and one each in cross country and lacrosse. She was an Honor Council representative, a member of the National Honor Society, National French Honor Society and Key Club, where she served as Secretary. Caroline has spent more than 400 hours of community service by volunteering her time with the All Children’s Hospital, Open Arms, Feeding America and Best Buddies of Tampa Bay. Upon graduation, Caroline plans to attend the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, and study pre-medicine.
• Nina Li, Merritt Island – Nina is the daughter of Qung Zhang and Zhen He Li. With a 3.97 grade point average, Nina is the valedictorian of Merritt Island High School and is also an Advanced Placement Scholar. She earned four varsity letters in cross country and track and field. She was the class historian, President of Key Club and member of National Honor Society, the Blood Drive Club and Freshman Orientation. Nina volunteered with the Cape Canaveral Hospital Auxilary, Relay for Life, Florida Blood Centers (One Blood) and UNICEF. She plans to attend Boston University in Boston, MA, to study pre-medicine or biology.
• Andrea Martinez, Sagemont (Weston) – Andrea is the daughter of Ignacio Martinez. She has a 4.0 grade point average and earned varsity letters all four years in competitive cheerleading and track and field, and three in cross coutry. In addition to athletics, she was a member of student government, where she served as class president her sophomore year, vice president her junior year, and president of student government her senior year. She was the founder and president of the Science National Honor Society, vice president of the French National Honor Society, secretary of Key Club and a member of the National Honor Society. Andrea is the founder of “Help Them Play,” an organization that collects used sports gear and books and donates them to orphanages in Miami-Dade County. She plans to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA, to study biomedical engineering or pre-medicine.
• Emily McMullen, Canterbury School (St. Petersburg) – Emily is the daughter of Steve and Susan McMullen. She has a 4.0 grade point average, is valedictorian of Canterbury School in a senior class of 49 students and is a National Merit Finalist, Presidential Scholar Candidate and Advanced Placement Scholar. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and Latin Honor Society. Emily earned varsity letters in swimming and basketball all four years of high school, plus two varsity letter in softball her junior and senior years. She was also a member of the International Thespian Society, Envirothon, Interact and SCUBA Venture Crew, where she was president as a junior and a senior. Emily has shared her time and academic excellence with others in her community, earning more than 400 hours of community service through the St. Thomas Episcopal Chruch and tutoring. She hopes to attend Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, with a major in biology and a focus on genetic research.
• Madison Miller, Bishop Snyder (Jacksonville) – Madison is the daughter of Jonathan and Espi Miller. She is an Advanced Placement Scholar and has a 3.88 grade point average, ranking sixth in a senior class of 108 students. Madison earned varsity letters in cross country, soccer and track and field all four years of high school. In addition to her academics and athletics, Madison was involved with student government, National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta throughout her high school career. Madison has also been active in her community, volunteering with church mission trips, Angel Tree and Vacation Bible School, and was selected to participate in a year-long program with Youth Leadership Jacksonville to teach students about the government and business aspects of Jacksonville. Madison will attend Clemson University in Clemson, SC, to pursue a degree in engineering.
• Danielle Noonan, Lake Brantley (Altamonte Springs) – Danielle is the daughter of Kevin and Rachel Noonan. She has a 4.0 grade point average, ranks 15th in a senior class of 628 students, received a Letter of Commendation for National Merit, and was a National Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor. Danielle earned varsity letters in swimming all four years of high school and two letters in water polo her junior and senior years. During her time in high school, she participated in National Honor Society, Math Honor Society and Latin Honor Society. Danielle is a member of her church choir and volunteered her time with the Beta Service Club, STAND (Students for Teens who are Abused, Neglected, or Diseased), helped organize an annual blanket drive for the homeless for more than six years, and has been a swim instructor for three years. She plans to attend the Univeristy of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, to study environmental engineering.
• Brittany Olinger, Oak Hall (Gainesville) – Brittany is the daughter of William David and Leigh Ann Olinger. She has a 4.0 grade point average and was inducted into Oak Hall’s Cum Laude Society and named an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction. Brittany earned four varsity letters in cross country and track and field. She was active in her high school with Mu Alpha Theta and student government, and by being a youth in government lawyer. A large part of her high school career was devoted to community service by participating in Mission Jamaica and founding ReRun Sneakers, Inc. To date, her not-for-profit has shipped more than 700 pairs of running shoes to young athletes in need. Brittany plans to attend the University of Oxford in Oxford, England, to study economics and management.
• Lindsey Powers, Jupiter Christian – Lindsey is the daughter of William and Colleen Powers. She has a 3.95 grade point average and is ranked 10th in a senior class of 49. Lindsey earned varsity letters in volleyball, basketball and track and field all four years of high school. She is a Pathfinder Sports Nominee, Wendy’s Hesiman Candidate and USA Today “The Ultimate Athlete,” and achieved 1,000 career points in basketball. In addition to athletics, she was president of National Honor Society and a committed member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Student Ambassadors and Captains Corner. Lindsey volunteered her time with Branch Out Community Service, Habitat for Humanity and Belle Glade Mission Trips, and was a camp counselor for volleyball and basketball. She plans to attend Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, and has not yet determined her course of study.
• Jared Blackburn, Lake Region (Eagle Lake) – Jared is the son of John and Patricia Blackburn. He has a 3.87 grade point average and ranks fourth in a senior class of 334 students. Jared earned three varsity letters in soccer, along with two in football and track and field, and one in weightlifting. He was a class representative all four years of high school and was vice president of the National Honor Society, as well as an actor in a school play. Jared has given back to his to his community through 610 hours with the Boy Scouts of America, Winter Haven Youth Soccer, Lake Region High School and Polk County Schools (Boswell Elementary), all while working as a lifeguard and a soccer referee. He plans to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, to study biological sciences and pre-medicine.
• James Daughton, Maclay (Tallahassee) – James is the son of Jim and Maureen Daughton. A National Merit Finalist, Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, Cum Laude Society member and Jefferson Book Award recipient, he maintained a 4.0 grade point average and is valedictorian of Maclay High School in a senior class of 80 students. Jared earned varsity letters in cross country and track and field all four years of high school. In addition to sports, Jared has participated in Student Council as treasurer and president, Key Club as vice president, Honor Council, Cabaret Production, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Politics Club. His dedication to his community is shown through his community service with Key Club, Good News Soup Kitchen and the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend. Jared plans to attend the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, to pursue a degree in English.
• James Fraser, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) – James is the son of James and Jessica Fraser. He has a 3.92 grade point average and is a National Merit Commended Student, and an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor. James earned three varsity letters in soccer, as well as two in lacrosse. Aside from serving as a class officer and student body president, his extracurricular activities included Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, Weston Futbol Club and Florida Xtreme Lacrosse Club. He was awarded the St. Thomas Aquinas Community Service Award through his service to the National Spanish Honor Society and Kids Helping KID (Kids in Distress), where he served as vice president and co-president. He plans to attend the Univeristy of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, to pursue a bachelors of science in chemical engineering.
• Santiago Gambino, MAST Academy (Miami) – Santiago is the son of Gustavo and Alejandra Gambino. An Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, National Hispanic Scholar and Rensselaer Medal Award Recipient, he is ranked eighth in a senior class of 132 students with a 4.0 grade point average. Santiago earned varsity letters in swimming and water polo all four years of high school, plus three varsity letters in soccer. His extracurricular activities include Interact Service Club (vice president as a junior), Mu Alpha Theta (president as a senior), National Honor Society and CrossFit. He volunteered in the community with Relay for Life and Manos del Sur, with whom he traveled to Nicaragua to volunteer at a disadvantaged school. Santiago has also given back academically by tutoring math and has a job as a cashier. He has not yet decided where he will attend college, but plans to pursue engineering.
• Jake Kirschner, Oak Hall (Gainesville) – Jake is the son of Rick and Wendy Kirschner. He has maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout high school and is a member of the Cum Laude Society. Jake earned four varsity letters each in football and lacrosse, as well as two in soccer and swimming. In addition to his athletics, he was president of National Honor Society and part of Thespian Society, Chinese Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes for all four years of high school. With 1,175 hours of community service, he has volunteered for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Boy Scouts of America and FHSAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and was an intern for the Sports Performance Center at UF Orthpedics. He plans to attend either the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA or Brigham Young University in Provo, UT and has an interest in studying civil engineering.
• Alexander Liles, Viera – Alexander is the son of William and Luanne Liles. He is valedictorian of Viera High School with a 4.0 grade point average, a Principle Scholar and an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction. He has earned three varsity letters each in golf and lacrosse. Alexander was involved with student government, serving as a student senator throughout high school and as student body president his senior year. He was the Viera High School ambassador for the Mid-Florida Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) conference and was the Mid-Florida ambassador at the HOBY World Leadership Congress. He volunteered through his participation in National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, CCMV Youth Group and Peacejam Club, in which he was a founding father. Alexander plans to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, to study pre-law.
• Eduardo Macias, Dr. Phillips (Orlando) – Eduardo is the son of Salvador and Isabel Macias. He is an Academic All-American and an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction. Eduardo has a 4.0 grade point average and ranks 11th in a senior class of 776 students. He earned varsity letters all four years of high school in swimming and three varsity letters in water polo. During his time in school, Eduardo participated in National Honor Society and Beta Club, was president of International Council and was selected to be a part of the KAKEHASHI Project, where he participated in a Japanese government-funded youth exchange program with North America. Aside from academics and athletics, he spent 250 community service hours volunteering for the Special Olympics, Give Kids the World, Relay for Life and the Surfride Foundation. Eduardo plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, to study engineering.
• Paul Parish, Indian Rocks Christian (Largo) – Paul is the son of Rev. Jeff and Martha Parish. As the valedictorian of Indian Rocks Christian School, he has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. Paul was the Student Council Chaplin his junior year, served on the executive board for National Honor Society and participated in school musicals and community theater. He earned varsity letters in football and track and field in each of his four years of high school, as well as one varsity letter in basketball. Paul is also preisdent of the Chess Club, a mentor and peer tutor, and the IRCS Morning Show Sports Anchor. Outside of school, he volunteers his time with Drama Teen Outreach, on service project trips and as a rotation leader at Vacation Bible School. Paul is deciding between the Univeristy of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL, and Mississippi College in Clinton, MS, to study biochemistry and perform medical research.
• Charles Shackelford, Fort Walton Beach – Charles is the son of Fletcher and Gayle Shackleford. An Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, he is valedictorian of Fort Walton Beach High School in a senior class of 425 students and has a 4.0 grade point average. Charles earned varsity letters in cross country and track and field all four years of high school. He was active in extracurricular activities as a member of National Honor Society and Environmentally Conscious Youth Club and served as treasuer of the Beta Club, Science National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. While working summers at Legacy Boating Club, he spent 185 hours of community service volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, Destin Youth City Council and Vacation Bible School, and tutored classmates. Charles will attend Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, to study business.
• Nicholas Staviski, Gulf Breeze – Nicholas is the son of Greg and Athena Staviski. He has a 4.0 grade point average, is the class salutatorian of Gulf Breeze High School and is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction. Nicholas earned a varsity letter all four years of high school in wrestling, three in cross country and one in weightlifting. He participated in student government and was the senior class treasurer and the spirit committee co-chair. Nicholas also was a member of National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta and was on the Math, Debate, Latin and Science Olympiad team. With more than 600 hours of community service, he volunteered his time with the Church/Greek Orthodox Youth of America as president, treasurer and altar boy captain, Kids Unlimited as a camp counselor, and the Optimist Club as treasurer. Nicholas plans to attend the Univeristy of Texas in Austin, TX, to study petroleum engineering.
• Whitman Wiggins, Southwest Florida Christian (Fort Myers) – Whitman is the son of Stan and Amy Wiggins. He is the valedictorian of Southwest Florida Christian Academy with a 4.0 grade point average. Whitman earned varsity letters in football and basketball all four years of high school, along with two varsity letters in competitive cheerleading and one in track and field. In addition to his athletic participation, Whitman was student government vice president in his sophomore year and president as a junior. He was also invoved with the band, Student Leadership Academy, National Honor Society and Small Group Leader. Whitman excelled in volunteer activities by volunteering with Upward football and basketball and was an Asian Exchange Student Host. He will attend Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, to study molecular biology and pre-medicine.
• Zachary Yopp, North Florida Christian (Tallahassee) – Zachary is the son of Eric and Melanie Yopp. He maintained a 3.96 grade point average and is ranked fifth in a senior class of 67 students. He was a part of the Student Advisory Council and was actively involved in student governemnt. Zachary earned four varsity letters in track and field, three in football and two in basketball. He also participated in High School Drama, National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Zachary used his academic and athletic knowledge to volunteer with the community through NFC Little Eagle Basketball, Youth Group, Michael Jennings Honoring the Troops and Youth Leadership in Tallahassee. He has been accepted to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, NY, and plans to study engineering.
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About the FHSAA
The Florida High School Athletic Association is the governing body for interscholastic athletic competition in Florida. It has a membership of more than 780 middle, junior and senior high schools.