The Edmonds School District honored its finest scholar athletes, coaches and community members at the 21st annual Scholar-Athlete and Community Recognition awards celebration banquet held Wednesday, May 25 at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
Director of ceremonies Justine Locke noted that the awards “celebrate the very best of our student athletes and to acknowledge the role played in that success by the coaches, parents and friends who make it all possible.” The event also recognized “the athletic trainers from each high school, who have been crucial in helping our student-athletes compete over the last two seasons.”
She added, “Tonight’s celebration is much more than recognition of athletic talents and accomplishments. It is a reflection on the lessons learned by each of our honorees and a celebration of each of their communities and support staff.”
Each of the district’s four high schools honored four athletes along with their athletic trainers. The scholarships and awards presented were made possible by sponsors that included many local individuals and businesses. MLTnews is among the sponsors.
“What an honor it is for me to present these 16 scholar athletes; young adults who have distinguished themselves as role models and leaders in our high schools and communities,” Locke said. “As a district, we can proudly say, ‘They belong to us.’”
The top two scholarships awarded on the evening — for $3,000 each — went to Lynnwood High’s Payton Masters and Faith Murray.
Masters was described as being “reliable, responsible and mature.” It was said that she exemplifies “the feeling of family” at her school and is “one of the most incredible and influential high school students her coaches have seen.” Masters played both volleyball and softball for her entire four-year career at the school and was characterized as having “definitely left an impressive mark on both programs.”
Coaches said she is the type of leader who uplifts and empowers others. Masters filled the role of team captain for varsity softball this spring and was also voted as the volleyball team’s most inspirational member last fall.
In addition to her athletic achievements, it was noted that Masters was a committed member of her school community and was active as a Link Crew leader, ASB leader, and also capably balanced athletics and leadership with challenging herself by taking numerous AP courses.
She was described as a standout through her work in the community as well, having been a volleyball official, volunteer coach at the middle school, Young Life student leader and an elementary school tutor. Masters focused on making her school a better place and created its Student Athlete Advocacy Program that is designed to support student athletes in crisis –especially those struggling with mental health issues. It was said, “Her leadership and commitment to the school community will be missed.”
Masters will graduate with a 3.7 GPA and attend Biola University with plans to pursue a degree in order to become a clinical psychologist.
Murray was described as exemplifying “perseverance through her commitment as an athlete and as an accomplished leader in her community.” She was a four-year member of the swim team, and one year member of the track and field team. Murray was voted to be captain of the swim team her senior season and its most inspirational member three times. In addition to qualifying for the state swim competition last fall, she also set a new school record in the breaststroke.
She spent a year-and-a-half during middle school wheelchair-bound because of a rare, chronic auto-inflammatory disease. As a result of having to overcome such obstacles, it was said that she possesses “a humility rare to find in high school students.”
In addition to her athletic achievements, it was noted that she has been an impactful member of the community by taking part in 47 different community outreach organizations and events including as a volunteer with the Lynnwood Food Bank, a youth advocate speaker and also as a volunteer with the Special Olympics.
“So many people are moved to tears hearing about her story,” Lynnwood High School’s Athletic Director Paul Keen said of Murray. “One would never know the challenges she has overcome – she just continues to work as hard as she can to reach her goals.” One of her teachers had shared that “she already knows more about bravery, kindness, conviction and determination than most adults who have lived a full life.”
Murray will graduate with a 3.9 GPA and plans on attending the University of Washington in order to major in environmental studies and minor in public policy.
Following are the other award recipients by school.
Daniel Park – Tennis and track and field. 3.9 GPA. Attending the University of Washington to pursue a career in computer science. $2,500 scholarship.
Sharon Gutierrez – Track and field and cross country. 3.9 GPA. Attending the University of Washington to pursue a major in pre-sciences. $1,500 scholarship.
Jemma Willcox – Cross country and track and field. 3.9 GPA. Plans to take a gap year and then attend Western Washington University. $1,000 scholarship.
Sam Browne – Tennis and soccer. 3.8 GPA. Attending San Diego State University to pursue a degree in computer engineering. $1,000 scholarship.
Karla Navarro – Cross country and softball. 3.9 GPA. Attending Seattle Pacific University to pursue a degree in social justice. $2,000 scholarship.
Miguel Hurtado – Football and track. 3.9 GPA. Attending the University of Washington to pursue a career in dental hygiene. $1,000 scholarship.
Mountlake Terrace Hawks
Gabrielle Lombard – Volleyball and golf. 3.9 GPA. Attending the University of Washington to study biology in hopes of becoming a pediatric oncologist. $2,000 scholarship.
Abby Parker – Soccer and golf. 3.9 GPA. Attending Boise State University to pursue a degree in kinesiology. $1,500 scholarship.
Trace Fagan – Soccer and tennis. 3.9 GPA. Attending either the University of Washington or the Colorado School of Mines to study mechanical engineering. $1,000 scholarship.
Sam Howe – Football and track and field. 3.7 GPA. Attending Boise State University to study human performance and exercise science. $1,000 scholarship.
Hazel Warner – Volleyball, tennis and basketball. 4.0 GPA. Attending the University of California at Berkeley to pursue a degree in psychology and a minor within its humanities division. $2,500 scholarship.
Austin Seals – Track and field and cross country. 3.9 GPA. Attending Washington State University to study kinesiology and participate in track and field as a pole vaulter. $2,500 scholarship.
Sidney Wright – Tennis and cross country. 4.0 GPA. Plans to take a gap year and then attend a small liberal arts college. $1,500 scholarship.
Jake Britton – Basketball and tennis. 3.9 GPA. Attending the University of Washington to study computer science and participate in intramural sports. $1,500 scholarship.
The awards banquet has not been held during the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
— By Nathan Blackwell