Awards and Recognition

Our students and staff continue to do amazing things despite our school closure.  Since we cannot honor them in person and in front of a large audience, we hope others can view their accomplishments here.

arts recognition


One of our very talented Northwood student artists, pianist Bethany Huang, was selected to perform as part of the star-studded nationally-televised special Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020! The hour-long broadcast paid tribute to high schoolers graduating this year, featured a commencement address by President Barak Obama, and included appearances by LeBron James, Pharrell Williams, Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, Bad Bunny, Yara Shahidi, Ben Platt, Lena Waithe and H.E.R., and many more! The special  aired on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, as well as streamed online on Saturday, May 16th. CBS News featured a story about Bethany.



Heather was recognized as a 2020 National YoungArts Foundation Merit Award winner.  You can read more about her in the Irvine Community News and Views. 




Katerina was acknolwedged in the Irvine Fine Arts show article highlighting the show that was set to open the day we sheltered in place. Her mixed media “Best Foot Forward” is the story of three feet preparing for the foot pageant.  “Sometimes the most delightful part of being an observer is getting to imagine what’s not handed to you — in this case, the odd characters behind the feet,” Hanks wrote. “I love playing with ‘ugly’ and ending up somewhere more bizarre and whimsical.”  (Courtesy of Irvine Fine Arts Center)


Mamma Mia

charter oak awards

PART ONE: Aired Monday, April 13, 2020


Thank you for joining us for Part One of our Charter Oak Awards Presentation.    A copy of the presentation is available here.


PART TWO: Aired Monday, April 20, 2020

Congratulations to all of our recipients!  We are extremely proud of you and cannot wait to see you soon!  A copy of our Charter Oak Awards Presentation - Part Two is available here.

distinguished timberwolves

Virtual Distinguished Timberwolves Award Ceremony


Welcome to the 2020 Virtual Distinguished Timberwolves Awards Ceremony! We hope you and your family are safe and in good health. The Distinguished Timberwolves Award Ceremony was created to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of our Northwood High School community with an emphasis on leadership and service to the school. Despite our circumstances, we would like to take this opportunity to recognize our outstanding Timberwolves. We would also like to thank all the individuals who participated in this process and made it possible.


Please follow the link below for this year’s Virtual Distinguished Timberwolves Awards Ceremony.

A program is also posted with time stamps for each award. The video will be available on Tuesday, May 26th at 6pm. Enjoy!

national history day

Northwood High School will represent California at the National level for the History Day competition!  The following students will compete in the national competition:

  • Daniel Yang, Rachel Gima, and Ethan Chen for their Documentary on The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
  • Linda Zhong for her Website on the White Rose Society

pcl student athletes

The Pacific Coast League is excited to celebrate our Senior Student Athletes and our recipients of the Sportsmanship Awards. Below is a description of the awards that were given out and the recipients of those awards.

The Senior Scholar Athlete Award recognizes seniors who have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher over the course of their high school careers and have made significant contributions on the Varsity level for their respective sports. Northwood’s recipients were Astriti Dihingia, Mary King, Kathleen Overbaugh, Ashley Peters, Ethan Duong, Chris Pukstza, Nikhil Rajagopa, and Cory Stone.


The Sportsmanship Award recognizes two senior student athletes (one female, one male) per school who exhibit the following qualities: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. This award is unique to the PCL in that it celebrates those student athletes who serve as role models and outstanding citizens both in and out of the fields of play. Northwood’s recipients were Malak Hassouna and Jaden Piazza.


The Athlete of the Year Award recognizes two senior scholar athletes from each school site who exemplify the vision and mission of the Pacific Coast League and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). Northwood’s recipients were Kathleen Overbaugh and Chris Pukstza.


Attached is the program and here is a quick video (created by Sierra Wang) to celebrate these special student-athletes. Please congratulate them on this great accomplishment.

pARENT volunteer recognition

Parent Volunteer

Special Recognitions



A very special thank you to all of the dedicated and talented parents who dedicate their time, energy, and finances to allow NHS students to create unique and special memories during their time here.  NHS staff thanks you and on behalf of the kids who only sometimes know all you do, thank you!

A huge thank you to the leaders of each of our amazing parent support groups!



Each year at Northwood’s parent volunteer breakfast, PTSA recognizes those who have volunteered their time and energy through the years. Please honor and congratulate the following very special PTSA 2019-2020 service awards:


Isabelle Mah - PTSA President

Isabelle has been a dedicated leader of the NHS PTSA for the last several years!  Her passion to support NHS and her continued work to do everything she can to bring the community together is commendable.  NHS has benefited from her enthusiasm and hard work from the many behind the scenes duties to her visionary leadership and levity!  Thank you, Isabelle!


Judy Li – Chinese Parent Liaison

Judy identified a need to increase communication with the NHS Chinese parent community!  She developed an organized club to include parents and make them feel a part of the NHS community. This includes programs to share information, learn more about NHS and parenting teens, and have questions answered for families. Maybe more importantly, it also created a social avenue for parents to network and support one another. Judy also facilitated ways for parents who had traditionally not felt comfortable volunteering on campus to take part in the school community.  Thank you, Judy!


Connie Stone - Golden Oak Service Award

Connie has served on the NHS PTSA executive board as Parliamentarian, VP of Membership and this year as VP of Grad Night. She was responsible for ordering and coordinated the distribution of the senior class of 2020 signs. Connie has also served many years on the executive board of the Irvine Unified Council PTA and the executive board of the California Fourth District PTA and will continue her service(s) next year. Connie’s experience and counsel has been invaluable to our PTSA. This is Connie’s last year at Northwood High School as she celebrates her third child graduating from Northwood H.S. We are forever grateful and wish you the best in your continued service at CAPTA, PTA Fourth District and all the years on the board at NHS PTSA!


Anita Raman - Honorary Service Award

Anita came to Northwood H.S. four years ago from Chicago. She served on the PTSA executive board for two years as our VP of Programs and coordinated all the career speakers during lunchtime for our students. She celebrates a graduating senior this year at Northwood. Thank you, Anita, and good luck to you in your next chapter!


Patty Schell - Honorary Service Award

Patty has served as the Hospitality Chair for PTSA for the past six years! She has been responsible for the treats at registration days, coffee and desserts at back to school nights, teacher and staff lunches to kick off the school years and teacher and staff lunches during fall/spring conference weeks. This past February, planned and organized the pride of the pack breakfast. Thank you, Patty, for all your years of enthusiasm, creativity and service!


Lupe Howard - Honorary Service Award  

Lupe has served as the Hospitality Co-Chair for PTSA for the past three years! She helped coordinate, plan, set up, and served at all the PTSA Hospitality events with Patty. Lupe’s tireless energy help contributed to the success of every PTSA event! Thank you, Lupe, for all your years of service!


Parisa Amiri - Very Special Person Award

Parisa has served as the Communications Secretary for PTSA for the past two years! She has been responsible with working with the PTSA president to deliver the PTSA newsletter via email each week. Parisa has also helped with our membership drive at back to school night and volunteered to help our with our hospitality events. Thank you for your service Parisa!


Mindy Baker - Very Special Person Award

In the fall of 2015, Mindy began volunteering on a monthly basis for the PTSA Student Store during lunchtime on campus. The following year, she stepped up to be the Student Store Manager and has been for the past five years! Thank you Mindy for your creativity with store items and making sure our students have a wide variety of snacks and drinks to choose from. Thank you, Mindy, for your continued service!


Julie Wurster - Very Special Person Award

Julie began volunteering at the PTSA Student Store on a biweekly basis her first year at NHS. The following year, she became the PTSA Student Store Coordinator and has been for the past three years! Thank you for scheduling and communicating with all the volunteers and filling in shifts where needed. Thank you, Julie, for your continued service!


Linda Li - Continuing Service Award

Linda has served as our PTSA Reflections Chair and Spirit Wear Chair for the past four years! She managed all the student PTSA Reflections entries. She organized the sell of NHS spirit wear on registration days and filled orders online throughout the year. She has also volunteered to help hospitality during many events. Linda will be continuing as Reflections Chair next year. Thank you, Linda, for your dedication and continued service!


Tina Zhao - Continuing Service Award

This is Tina’s first year of service on the NHS PTSA executive board as the VP of Membership. She came new to PTSA and quickly adapted to her role on the board and will serve a second term as VP of Membership next year. Thank you, Tina, for your enthusiasm and continued service!


Athletic Boosters

Bonnie Piazza - Football

Bonnie went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure the program survived a transition in coaching and the new coach’s stress level was at a minimum.


John Duong - Football

John was just a huge asset to the football program and he still is even though his son is a senior. John will continue to help out the football program next season. John also currently serves as the NHS Athletics Boosters Co-President and is essential to the fundraising that NHSAB has accomplished.


Noah and Casey Sharifi – Boys Basketball

These parents have been the backbone of the basketball program for the past three years and never more so than this year. They've served as team mom, treasurer, events coordinator, organized spirit wear, and many other roles.


Julie Wurster – Boys Soccer

Julie was a guide for the new head soccer coach all season. Not only did she fill in roles when others weren't able to, but she also helped learn all of the team specific fundraising processes while the coach transitioned to the team. She was supportive and acted as both our Team mom and Booster Rep. Julie was pivotal in bringing the funding for boys soccer out a hole and ensured that they are successful for years to come.


Gigi Labus – Pep Squad

Gigi has been such a huge help with the cheer program for the last 3 years. She is always taking the lead on volunteer positions and if no one steps up she will without question. She will also donate money and items for girls who are unable to pay for certain things to make sure no one on the team feels left out. Not only does she volunteer for our team but she is on the grad night committee and is a regular 5K volunteer.


Angela & Manny Orozco – Pep Squad

Manny has been our cheer boosters rep for 3 years and has been a huge part of keeping cheer on track financially. Angela has also been a big part of our program. She is the cheer spirit wear guru and always volunteers at her house for cheer bonding activities as well as always being the first to volunteer on any committee we have.


Jen King – Cross Country & Track

Jen has had her kids in athletics for 4 straight years in Cross Country & Track and Field and has helped with boosters, team events, BBQ’s and banquets.


Brad & Connie Stone - Cross Country & Track

This is the Stone Family’s 3rd child in this program - they have been volunteering for Cross Country & Track and Field for over a decade. Both volunteer outside of athletics for school functions, both help run the Cross Country tournament, and have helped with boosters and team events.


Timberwolf Instrumental Music Boosters

Our Timberwolf Instrumental Music Boosters go above and beyond to help keep our program running. They put in so much time and energy to ensure that music is thriving here at Northwood High School. All of the unseen effort needed to keep a program of this size up and running is endless. From countless hours helping with Marching Band and Concerts, and always ensuring all of our students have what they need to be successful. In addition, they take the extra steps to check-in directly with us, and are extremely contentious about helping us maintain balance. This year, we have several senior parents among our amazing volunteers, as well as a number who have severed as TIMB board members. Our music parents are the heart of our NHS Music Family, and we cannot thank them enough!

We’d also like to extend a special thank you to those families who have had multiple children go through our program, and have been volunteering all along! They have helped establish and pass along a culture of support that will benefit all of our students for years to come! Those families are Alison and Scott Paladichuk, Melody Alvarado, Mario Alvarado, Jan and Arnel Ibasitas, Diana Cheung, and Amy Jensen.

Last, we’d like to give special recognition to our outgoing TIMB VP Amy Jensen, and TIMB President Maybel Quaglierini. Together, they have provided amazing leadership, found ways to create easy access to our information and resources for all of our students and families, and did it all to ensure our students receive the best artistic experiences possible. To Amy and Maybel, as well as every one of our incredible and dedicated volunteers, thank you so much for all you do!

teacher of the year 

Mr. Dickson

On May 20, our very own Mr. Dickson was named as a 2021 Orange County Teacher of the Year!  Mr. Dickson joined five other exemplary educators who were selected from a pool of 58 district-level teachers of the year and will compete for California's Teacher of the Year in the coming months.  For more information, visit the OCDE Newsroom.