Photos by Eric Mathison
Scholar-Athlete of Distinction Jordan McPhee, center, receives her special award from Superintendent Susan Enfield, left, and athletic director Terri McMahan.

‘Throwin’ Samoan,’ Jordan McPhee among many honored at Highline athletics banquet

By Eric Mathison

The “Throwin’ Samoan,” Jack Thompson and his family were among those honored May 20 at Highline Public Schools’ third annual Scholar-Athlete, Coach and Community Recognition Banquet.

Thompson and his siblings, Lina, Pat, Margo and Gene received the Director’s Award for their exceptional commitment to the students and community, particularly the Evergreen High campus and White Center.

Thompson quarterbacked the Cascade Junior High and Evergreen High football teams before graduating in 1974. At Washington State University, where he acquired his colorful nickname, he was a Sporting News First Team All-American in 1978 before being selected as a first round NFL draft pick in 1979. Both Evergreen and WSU retired his football jerseys.

At the banquet, Thompson praised Highline’s athletic leadership and urged community members to support the district.

Pacific Middle assistant principal Heidi Geise, who supervises her school’s athletics, also received special recognition. Geise is retiring after 38 years as a teacher, coach and administrator.

Honored as community contributors were Tyrone Curry, Evergreen; Sheri Healey, Mt. Rainier; Manny Jimenez, Highline and Steve O’Brien, Tyee.

Mt. Rainier High’s Jordan McPhee was named the “Scholar-Athlete of Distinction-- the athletic department’s most elite student award. The award is only given in years when a student-athlete meets strict criteria.

The student must have played in two sports during senior year and in at least one in another year, finished in the top four at state tournaments in two or more sports, earn a grade point average of 3.75 or above, have recommendations confirming outstanding character and have no code violations.

McPhee’s achievements include 2011 State cross country champion, 2012 State 1600 meter champion, State basketball finishes of third, third and second, and school records in the 1600, 3200 and1600 relay. She has a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Highline athletic director Terri McMahan announced at the banquet that McPhee will enroll at Seattle Pacific University.

Sixteen other scholar-athletes received scholarships of $1,000 to $2,500, donated by business and individual sponsors.

Evergreen recipients were Faridah Abdullah, Jomell Cortez, Kenny Dang and Caroline Le.

Highline winners were Justin Kemp, Thais Pedro-Trujillo, Brandon TerLouw and Disney Vorng.

Kaitlin Freeberg, Jacob Gardner, Alexander Potts and Jenna Shamseldin were winners from Mt. Rainier.

From Tyee, the winners were Khalya Guy, Brook Negussie, Denisse Oregon and Alebachew Shiferaw.

Honored as outstanding high school coaches were Bob Bolam, Mt. Rainier; Rex Post, Highline; Amanda Segerman, Tyee and Ashley Eyman, Evergreen.

Troy Ahif, Sylvester; Stephan Derout, Chinook; James Franzen, Cascade and Michelle Mohn, Pacific were recognized as outstanding middle school coaches.

Dick Fain, KJR AM sports director and voice of the WNBA Seattle Storm served as master of ceremonies. He is a 1992 Mt. Rainier graduate. His mother, Geri Fain, is a former assistant superintendent in the Highline district.

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