Suri and Lyons Named FHSAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year

GAINESVILLE, FL (6/13/16) – Monday night at the 22nd Annual Florida High School Athletic Association Academic All-State Awards Banquet, Vivek Suri and Hannah Lyons were named the 2016 FHSAA male and female Scholar-Athletes of the Year, respectively. These two student-athletes and the rest of the 2016 Academic All-State Team were honored at the event.
 
Both Suri and Lyons excelled in multiple sports, while also maintaining remarkable 4.0 GPA and serving their communities. 
 
“Our student-athletes went above and beyond this year in the classroom, out on the field and in their communities,” FHSAA Executive Director Dr. Roger Dearing said. “Hannah and Vivek have shown extraordinary academic abilities and athletic talents. They have both truly exhibited what it means to be a student-athlete, and we are proud to recognize them as this year’s FHSAA’s Scholar-Athletes of the Year.” 
 
Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Vivek Suri, Winter Park
 
Suri graduated as a valedictorian from the International Baccalaureate program at Winter Park High School. The National Merit Finalist earned a varsity letter with both the swimming and water polo teams and was voted “best all-around” by his senior class. Suri served as the treasurer and the community service chair within the student government at WPHS. 
 
In addition to playing in the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra and the WPHS philharmonic orchestra, the Sunshine State Scholar also performed in the pit orchestra for the production of “Ragtime.” Suri is a youth leader for Ekal Vidyalaya, which is a non-profit organization involved in the education and village development in India. The National Honor Society president and Science Olympiad team captain personally raised $5,400 to set up 15 schools.
 
Suri will continue his education this fall at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, where he plans on studying biomedical engineering. 
 
Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Hannah Lyons, Cocoa Beach
 
Lyons was recognized as an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and a National Merit Scholar Commended Student. She graduated from Cocoa Beach High School as an IB diploma candidate and as class valedictorian. Lyons lettered as a team captain in soccer and lacrosse, while also excelling as a varsity athlete in cross country.
 
She has earned over 700 volunteer hours through working with Relay for Life, Against Malaria Foundation, FIRST Lego League, among others. The CBHS National Honor Society president held an internship at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC), where she worked with NASA’s Vegetable Production System (Veggie), a deployable plant-growth apparatus designed to enable astronauts to grow crops in microgravity.   
 
The Cocoa Beach native will continue her education at the University of Florida in Gainesville this fall, where she plans on majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology.
 
About the FHSAA Academic All-State Team
 
At the banquet, 12 male and female student-athletes each from across Florida were honored for their exemplary achievements. While the FHSAA is most commonly associated with overseeing high school athletics, the recognition of the Academic All-State Team is part of the organization’s ongoing mission of building leaders through teamwork, sportsmanship and citizenship.
 
The group will be awarded a total of $40,000 in scholarships – a $10,000 increase from previous years. Each of the 24 Academic All-State Team members will receive a $1,350 scholarship from the FHSAA, with Lyons and Suri receiving an additional $3,800 scholarship.
To be eligible for selection to the Academic All-State Team, a student-athlete must be a graduating senior, have a cumulative unweighted GPA 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. Members were selected based on academic record, athletic participation, non-athletic activities, community service and an essay. The members distinguished themselves from 150-plus qualified nominees attending 704 FHSAA member high schools.
 
The FHSAA is the governing body for high school athletics in Florida, but its mission goes far beyond athletics. To the FHSAA, a student-athlete is most importantly a student first. The Academic All-State Awards Banquet embodies the organization’s commitment to recognizing student-athletes who have shown outstanding dedication not only to athletic excellence but also to academic achievement and service to the community.
 
2016 FHSAA Female Academic All-State Team
 
Keara Bogart, Walton (DeFuniak Springs) 
With a 4.0 GPA, Keara ranks first in her class of 139 students. Bogart earned varsity letters in softball and competitive cheerleading all four years, while serving on student government simultaneously. She was also a member of Anchor Club, Key Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Phi Theta Kappa and National Honor Society. Bogart has dedicated 900-plus hours to enhancing her community by volunteering at locations such as Southwide Baptist Church, Walton County Prevention Coalition and Students Working Against Tobacco. The former DFHS president plans to major in athletic training at Troy University in Troy, Alabama.
 
Cali Chussid, Posnack (Davie) 
Cali currently holds 3.93 GPA and was an AP Scholar with honor. Chussid was also a Coca-Cola Scholar finalist and an Amazon Student Scholarship finalist. A three-sport athlete, she participated in swimming, cross country and softball all four years. The 2015 David Posnack Jewish Day School Athlete of the Year was also class president and was a member of the National Honor Society and Science National Honor Society. She spends her time outside of the classroom educating and empowering her community through organizations such as Jewish Family Services and through her work with the Holocaust Awareness Club, an organization she founded her freshman year. She has dedicated over 1,200 hours to her community and plans on studying business at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
 
Emily Curran, Calvary Christian (Clearwater)
With a 4.0 GPA, Emily was recently named Calvary Christian’s valedictorian. Curran was a three-sport athlete who receiving varsity letters in cross country, soccer and track & field all four years. In 2015, she was an individual qualifier for the FHSAA Cross Country State Championships. Off the field, she was involved with Rho Kappa Honor Society, Key Club and the National Honor Society. Curran gives back by tutoring students in Spanish and serving as a volunteer leader for summer sports camps. She will major in either biochemistry or pre-pharmacy at Baylor University Honors College in Waco, Texas.
 
Sydney Konrath, Marathon
Sydney was an AP Scholar and ranked number one in her class of 95 students with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Konrath competed in volleyball, soccer and softball all four seasons in addition to weightlifting her senior year. She has participated in her school’s student government since her freshmen year, working as a member of the prom and homecoming committee. The former MHS vice president was also the president of Mu Alpha Theta, founder of the Student Athletic Leadership Team and a two-year member of the FHSAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Konrath has volunteered at Relay for Life, Coastal Clean Up, Marathon Seafood Festival and the 7 Mile Bridge Run, earning 330-plus hours of community service. She will attend the University of Miami in Coral Gables this fall and study biology on a Presidential Scholarship.
 
Kelly Kramer, Naples
Kelly was an AP Scholar with distinction who held a 4.0 GPA and ranked sixth in her senior class of 345 students. During her time at NHS, Kramer lettered four years in both basketball and softball. She served as the Interact Club president, yearbook editor and executive vice president of student government. The founder of the NHS Culinary Club has dedicated over 300 hours of community service to organizations such Meals of Hope and American Red Cross. She also volunteered on a mission trip to Mexico. The mathematics major will attend Florida Southern College in Lakeland this fall.
 
Ellen McMullen, Canterbury School (St. Petersburg)
An AP Scholar with distinction, Ellen ranked number one in her senior class of 38 with a 4.0 GPA. The National Merit Semifinalist received four varsity letters in swimming and soccer as well as two in track & field. She was a student ambassador and member of the International Thespian Society, Mu Alpha Theta and Ocean Bowl. In her community, McMullen is a girl scout, a volunteer with her church and a president of the Venture Crew and SADD. This fall she will begin majoring in bioengineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas.
 
Emily Nix, Winter Park 
Emily has a 4.0 GPA and is a recipient of the AP Scholar Award. The four-year cross country and track & field athlete was selected to the All-Metro Cross Country Team all four years. Nix was a member of National Honor Society, Beta Club, Feminist Club and Art Club. The former senior class representative volunteers at the Orlando Museum of Art and in her spare time helps out at youth track meets. She plans on majoring in architecture this fall at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
 
Elizabeth Parker, Yulee
Elizabeth was an AP Scholar who ranked first in her class of 272 students with a 4.0 GPA. The track & field and cross country captain served in her student government for four years as well as being a member of the Beta Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The Robotics Club president also saw time as the National Honor Society Parliamentarian and continues to volunteer her time in the community by laboring as a nursery worker at her church. She plans on majoring in biomedical engineering this fall at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
 
Bryn Tolchinsky, University School (Fort Lauderdale)
A Pinnacle Award recipient and AP Scholar with Honor, Bryn earned varsity letters in basketball and lacrosse all four years with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Tolchinsky served as the treasurer for the National Honor Society and was a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Science and Spanish Honor Societies. She also worked as an ambassador for her school’s New2U Student Ambassador Program. Tolchinsky volunteered 400-plus hours with such organizations as: Make a Wish, Pink for Life, Debbie’s Dream Club, Aahana and I Care I Cure. She plans on studying biomedical engineering this fall at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
 
Deborah Vainstein, Dr. Krop (Miami) 
Deborah is an AP Scholar with distinction who earned a 3.98 GPA despite lettering for four years in swimming and softball. The three-time swimming regional qualifier who also spent one year on the water polo team was involved with her school’s Science Honor Society, National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. She has dedicated more than 1,300 hours to tutoring athletes and teaching children to swim. Vainstein is the co-founder and president of Healthier Generation, an organization emphasizing the importance of healthy lifestyles. She will be studying either mechanical or biomedical engineering this fall while attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
 
Catarina Vale, TERRA Institute (Miami) 
Catarina was an AP Scholar with honor who ranked first in her class of 451 students with a 4.0 GPA. She received the Carlos Cubelo’s Congressional Recognition Award and co-authored a biomedical engineering abstract. Vale has participated in swimming and water polo for four years, where she served as team captain for both. She was the Marine Science Club vice president and a member of the Science Honor Society, Math Honors Society and National Honor Society. With over 1,000 hours of community service volunteering with Miami Children’s Hospital, Marine Science Club and Homework Help, Vale will attend the Florida International University Honors College in Miami where she will study biomedical engineering on the pre-medicine track.
 
2016 FHSAA Male Academic All-State Team
 
Connor Bradley, Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton) 
Despite lettering on varsity for four years in basketball and track, Connor earned a 4.0 GPA. Bradley also earned two varsity letters in swimming and was a member of National Honor Society, Student-Athlete Leadership Team and Math Ambassadors. The school’s all-time leader in points, rebounds, assists and blocks gives back to his community by volunteering with High Five Basketball, Walk to End Alzheimer’s and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk. Next year, he will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he will study electrical engineering and computer science.
 
Maximillian Diaz, Melbourne Central Catholic
Max was an AP Scholar with distinction who ranked first in his class of 143 students with a 4.0 GPA. He earned varsity letters in cross country and track and field all competed all four years. Diaz is the current school record-holder in the 3,200-meter race and 2,000-meter steeplechase. He is a member of five honor societies including: Math, Rho Kappa, Science, Spanish and National Honor Society.  Max is also involved with student government and council, chemistry club and plays the guitar. He has acquired over 671 hours of community service by volunteering his time with SMHA Summer Camp, Camp Invention, Sonata Retirement Home and Ascension Catholic School Music Program. Max will attend the University of Florida in Gainesville this fall and plans on majoring in biomedical engineering.
 
Noah Evans, Gulf Coast (Naples)
Noah carried a 4.0 GPA and was named a National Merit Scholarship Commended Student as well as an AP Scholar with distinction. Evans earned eight varsity letters including three in basketball, four in swimming and one in track & field. The school’s single-game scoring record holder was a four-year member of the GCHS Marching Band and performed at the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He also participated in National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Key Club. Outside of school, Evans volunteered with the Holiday Shootout Basketball Tournament, Naples Art Association, Meals of Hope, Gulf Coast Runners, Ronald McDonald House, Naples YMCA, North Naples United Methodist Church and Ocean Kids Camp. He plans on attending the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
 
David Fager, Belen Jesuit (Miami)
David was an AP Scholar with distinction who ranked first in his class of 227 students with a 4.0 GPA. A National Merit Scholar Finalist, National Hispanic Recognition Scholar and AP Scholar with distinction, he received three varsity letters in track and field plus four varsity letters in cross country. Fager held several leadership positions at his school, including: student council homeroom president, Mu Alpha Theta president and Chess Club pPresident. He was also a member of National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. During his time with the Boy Scouts, Fager earned more than 500 hours of community service volunteering with Blue Lake Autism Academy and MAGIS tutoring service. He will be attending the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, where he will major in engineering and mathematics.
 
Stephen Fedec, Fort Myers 
Stephen owned a 3.97 GPA and ranked within the top one percent of his class of 316 students. During his time at Fort Myers High School, Fedec received varsity letters all four years in cross country and track & field. Additionally, he held leadership positions with the Health Occupation Students Association, Financial Literacy Club and National Honor Society. Fedec was also a member of the Science Honor Society and a class representative. He showed dedication to his community by volunteering 340-plus hours with Lee Memorial Hospital, the Humane Society and Financial Literacy Awareness. This fall, he plans on attending Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he will study biophysics with a concentration in pre-medicine.
 
Hunter Hintenlang, Eastside (Gainesville)
As a three-sport athlete with a 3.75 GPA, Hunter earned varsity letters in cross country, soccer and lacrosse. Outside of athletics, Hintenlang served as an SGA Senator, a trumpet section leader for the Eastside High School band and was a member of both the National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society. He also participated in the 7th Generation Environmental Club. Over the past two years, he has given back to his community by earning 120-plus hours of community service building houses with Habitat for Humanity. Hintenlang plans on attending the University of Florida in Gainesville where he will pursue a degree in biomedical engineering.
 
Eric Masterson, Pensacola Catholic
An AP Scholar and National Merit Commended Scholar, Eric carried a 3.98 GPA and ranked fifth in his senior class of 147 students. Masterson earned varsity letters in soccer and tennis, with his tennis team participating in the FHSAA State Championships all four years. His soccer team advanced to the FHSAA State Championship in 2014. A member of the math team, Engineering Club, Junior Civitan Club, Investment Club, National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta, Masterson also participated in the Science Olympiad and earned the rank of Eagle Scout with the Boys Scouts of America. He has earned 350-plus community service hours by volunteering for Catholic High Make a Difference Day, Pensacola Catholic High School and with the Senior Retreat Team. Masterson will be heading to the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta to pursue a degree in chemical engineering.
 
James McIntyre, Bishop Moore (Orlando)
A National Merit Scholar Finalist and AP Scholar, James received three varsity letters in soccer, two varsity letters in football and was a member of the 2015 5A FHSAA state championship football team. The school record holder for longest field goal made served as a member of the Bishop Moore House of Representatives, Peer Ministry and Leadership Team. McIntyre was also vice president of the Latin Honor Society. Over the past four years, he has been a member of five honor societies, including: Rho Kappa, Mu Alpha Theta, English, Science and National Honor Society. McIntyre co-founded Beta Squad, a club designed to help pregnant teens and teen mothers with child care while they work. He plans to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is currently undecided on his field of study.
 
Ignacio Ortega Castineiras, Archimedean (Miami)
Ignacio was an AP Scholar with distinction who ranked second in a class of 55 students with a 4.0 GPA.  He earned four varsity letters in swimming and soccer, three varsity letters in volleyball, two varsity letters in track & field and one varsity letter in cross country. His extracurricular activities included: VEX and FRC Robotics, Science Olympiad, Astronaut Challenge, Euro Challenge, American Math Competition, Renewable Energy Project, and a Blue Ring Technologies internship. Castineiras earned community service hours by volunteering as a Dude Ranch Camp Counselor. He plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
 
Dillan Patel, All Saints Academy (Winter Haven)
Dillan was an AP Scholar with distinction thanks to a perfect 4.0 GPA. He earned varsity letters in four sports: soccer, basketball, tennis and football. Patel served as class president all four years of high school in addition to being involved with theater, MERIT, National Honor Society and Harvard Model Congress. He co-founded an organization that collects and delivers soccer gear to children in Central and South America called Kicks 4 Kids, as well as a tournament called Serving 4 Snively which raises money for an underfunded local school. This service plus his work with Tennis 4 Tumors and Peace River Center has earned him more than 550 hours of community service. Patel will attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, to pursue a degree in economics.
 
Christopher Thatcher, Bloomingdale (Valrico) 
Chris earned a 4.0 GPA and was an AP Scholar with distinction. The three-sport athlete received varsity letters in golf, soccer and tennis. Thatcher served as a class council member, student government representative, Student-Athlete Leadership Team president and senior class president. He was also a member of the Bloomingdale Pep Rally Committee, Minor Politics Club, Science Honor Society. The Purdue Step Camp attendee actively volunteers his time with TOPS Soccer, Relay for Life and Echo Canned Food Drive. Thatcher plans to study mechanical engineering at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
 
 
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ABOUT THE FHSAA
 
The Florida High School Athletic Association supervises and regulates interscholastic athletic programs for high school students at member public, private and charter schools. The organization also recognizes and honors academic achievement among student-athletes at almost 800 middle, junior and senior high schools statewide. Headquartered in Gainesville, it is the official governing body for interscholastic athletics in Florida.