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The Academic All-State Team

June 13, 2017
By Perry R. Banse, Assistant Superintendent, Middle/High School Principal

Each year, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) selects an Academic All-State Team. The FHSAA Ronald N. Davis Academic All-State Team recognition program honors 24 graduating seniors from around the state who excel in both athletics and academics. Twelve young women and twelve young men are selected from throughout the state.

Any FHSAA member senior high school may nominate one male and one female graduating senior. A nominee must have a cumulative unweighted grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, and must have earned a varsity letter in at least two different FHSAA-recognized sports during each of his or her junior and senior years.

For the third time in school history, an Indian Rocks Christian School student was named to the team. Kristi Byun, one of our 2017 Valedictorians, was selected to be on the Academic All-State Team. She joins our previous selections of Ryan Kaufman in 2011 and Christopher Parish in 2014.

This past Monday evening, the FHSAA hosted a banquet to honor each of the 12 males and females selected for this prestigious award. I had the opportunity to attend the banquet with my wife and the Byun family. It was quite an impressive affair. The event was held at the ballroom of a local Gainesville hotel. It was nicely decorated and had a repeating Power Point of the team members showing five photos of each. We were served to a very nice meal. (The steak was twice as big as the chicken so if you ever have this opportunity, pick steak.) Each student athlete was honored individually. Master of Ceremonies Elgin Rucker, a local sports personality, read short bios on each student as FHSAA Executive Director Dr. Roger Dearing presented them with a commemorative medal and pin. They also received a check for $1,600. One deviation to the previous year’s events was that Kristi was one of four students selected to read the essay they wrote as part of the scholarship process. She did it well, showing no nervousness and when she ended it drew the biggest ovation of the night from the crowd.

As I listened to the accolades of each of the student athletes represented, I realized that Kristi was in some pretty “rare air”. Each one was an exceptional student in addition to their athletic accomplishments. They had all logged countless service learning hours. There were 7 Valedictorians and 2 Salutatorians. There was a Wendy’s High School Heisman National award winner – the first ever from Florida. Of the 24 students, 10 will be attending Florida, 3 Boston College, 2 Yale, and 2 the Naval Academy and the others assorted universities. One of the best parts was that Kristi was right there in the mix with all of them. Her accomplishments and plans were just as notable. She plans to attend Boston College where she will major in Economics.

Indian Rocks Christian School is proud of you Kristi and of your accomplishments. Thank you for your hard work. May God continue to bless you as you go on from here.