Princeton Book Award for Secondary Schools

Princeton seeks, “to instill in each graduate those qualities of mind and character necessary for good citizenship and wise leadership. They include a broad intellectual curiosity that embraces open-mindedness coupled with critical thinking; respect for our moral and cultural inheritance coupled with a capacity for innovation and change; an appreciation of the shared destiny and common humanity of all peoples; and core principles of responsibility, integrity and courage.” — Former Princeton President Shirley Tilghman, 2005

The Princeton Book Award for Secondary Schools is presented by the Princeton Club of Orange County to outstanding students at the end of their junior year at public and private secondary schools in the county.

The club determines the number of awards and schools in which awards are given for the region. Schools are selected from among those that send or are capable of sending students to Princeton. The criteria for the selection of the student includes:

  • intellectual promise and academic excellence
  • exemplary service or extracurricular activities; and
  • outstanding personal character

We are actively seeking club members to serve as a liaison at a local high school to offer the Princeton Book Award. This program is an easy and fun way to be involved with the PCOC and a great way to promote Princeton University on local high school campuses. If you are interested in sponsoring an Orange County school for the Princeton Book Award, please e-mail us.

The book selected for the 2016-2017 school year was Beloved  by Toni Morrison.

For the 2016-2017 school year, the recipients at the 16 participating schools were:

  • Adi Suresh, Beckman High School
  • Harlan Tsui, Capistrano Valley High School
  • Zachary Gaber, Corona del Mar High School
  • Alyssa Laske, Esperanza High School
  • Chelsea Pan, Irvine High School
  • Krishnaprasad Ravi, Northwood High School
  • Madeline McCanne, Orange County School of the Arts
  • Richard Vu Tram, Oxford Academy
  • Jackson Hinkle, San Clemente High School
  • Alyssa Fujiwara, Santa Margarita Catholic High School
  • Conor Faley, Servite High School
  • Parker Ryan, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
  • Pranit Pugazhendhi, Tesoro High School
  • Alexander Tsao, Troy High School
  • Kexin Cathy Sun, University High School
  • Sabrina Dallas, Woodbridge High School

Previous Book Award recipients include:

2015-16 – Book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald ’17

  • Vesal Razavimaleki, Beckman High School
  • Alexandra Shockley, Capistrano Valley High
  • Abigail Peterson, Coronal del Mar High School
  • Sarah Grimes, Esperanza High School
  • Luke Ortiz, Irvine High School
  • Katherine Paladichuk, Northwood High School
  • Brianna Satow, Orange County School of the Arts
  • Kira Jan, San Clemente High School
  • Ziyi You, Santa Margarita Catholic High School
  • Joseph Mastroni, Servite High School
  • Tyler Ashman, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
  • Hsiu-Chu “Esther” Cheng, Troy High School
  • Nadine Ben-Romdhane, University High School
  • Daisy Chen, Woodbridge High School

2014-15 – Book: This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald ’17

  • Anjali Nadeswaran, Beckman High School
  • Mailey Wong, Capistrano Valley High
  • Sophia Luzzi, Esperanza High School
  • Daniel C. Carpenter, Fullerton Union High School
  • John Fa, Northwood High School
  • Lauren Dahl, Orange County School of the Arts
  • Sean Park, Oxford Academy
  • David Larsen, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
  • Nicholas Crosson, Servite High School
  • Varun Mandi, Troy High School
  • Iona Batchelder, University High School

2013-14 – Book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald ’17

  • David Han, Beckman High School
  • Blake Berk, Capistrano Valley High School
  • Carrie Sandoval, Esperanza High School
  • Fernando Rojas, Fullerton Union High School
  • Kenneth Pham, Northwood High School
  • Rachel Jorgensen, Orange County High School of the Arts
  • Kai Zhao, Pacific Academy
  • David Weaver, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
  • Colby Williams, San Clemente High School
  • Spencer Bennett, Santa Margarita Catholic High School
  • James Cook, Servite High School
  • Kristina Shia, University High School

2012-13 – Book: This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald ’17

  • Alexander Taketa, Corona del Mar High School
  • Ryan Heller, Esperanza High School
  • Julia Rue, Orange County High School of the Arts
  • Ethan Gacek, San Clemente High School
  • Christina King, Santa Margarita High School
  • Luke Cebula, Servite High School
  • Seokwon Lee, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
  • Neil Parikh, Troy High School
  • Staphany Hou, University High School

2011-12 – Book: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis ’82

  • Victoria Lim, Esperanza High School
  • Kenneth Oetomo, Orange County High School of the Arts
  • Anna Vivian, San Clemente High School
  • Chloe Lustig, Santa Margarita High School
  • Joseph Landeis, Servite High School
  • N. Harrison White, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
  • Sara Cao, University High School

2010-11 – Book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald ’17

  • Christie Nguyen, Esperanza High School
  • Nicholas King, J Serra Catholic High School
  • Kaitlyn Hittelman, Orange County High School of the Arts
  • Austin Reagan, San Clemente High School
  • Kaitlin Propeck, Santa Margarita Catholic High School
  • Brian Mendoza, Servite High School
  • Gabriela Leichnitz, St. Margaret’s Episcopal High School
  • Dvorah Elster, Tarbut V’Torah
  • Barry Chen, Troy High School
  • Calvin Tjandra, University High School
  • Corona del Mar High School

2009-10 – Book: This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald ’17

  • Jessica Imani, Corona Del Mar High School
  • Brandon Buscaino, Esperanza High School
  • Shannon Brady, J Serra Catholic High School
  • Amanda Tran, Mater Dei High School
  • Tara Ippoliti, Mission Viejo High School
  • Jessica Waldman, Orange County High School of the Arts
  • Stefan Fertala, Orange Lutheran High School
  • Michael Bacon, San Clemente High School
  • Aria Bendix, Santa Margarita Catholic High School
  • Thai Son Nguyen, Servite High School
  • Cameron Price, St. Margaret’s Episcopal High School
  • Adam Cohen, Tarbut V’Torah
  • Sean Lee, Troy High School
  • Shannon Cheng, University High School

2008-09 – Book: Beloved by Toni Morrison

  • Emily Jones, Santa Margarita Catholic High School (Book Sponsor: Chris Looney ’95)
  • Emily Tian, University High School – Irvine (Book Sponsor: Mike Wang ’10)
  • Ryan Poladian, San Clemente High School (Book Sponsor: Nazanin Saedi ’03)
  • Marc Mendiola, Servite High School – Anaheim (Book Sponsor: Judy Joss ’76)
  • Olivia Schafer, Orange County High School of the Arts – Anaheim (Book Sponsor: Judy Joss ’76)
  • Rebecca Miller, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School – San Juan Capistrano (Book Sponsor: Laurie Girard ’83)
  • Michael Forsuelo, Troy High School – Fullerton (Book Sponsor: Ellen Junn *84)
  • Christa Millard, J Serra Catholic High School – San Juan Capistrano (Book Sponsors: Joel and Mary Ann Poladian P’12)
  • Rupen Dajee, Corona del Mar High School (Book Sponsor: Jillian Griffin ’88)
  • Lindsey Tsai, Esperanza High School – Anaheim (Book Sponsor: Roger Philips ’67)
  • Maya Or, Tarbut V’Torah – Irvine (Book Sponsor: Carter Greenbaum ’08)

2007-08 – Book: Beloved by Toni Morrison

  • Michelle Courtney Chong, Troy High School (Book Sponsor: Ellen Junn *84)
  • Brenda Kim, Orange County High School of the Arts (Book Sponsor: Judy Joss ’76)
  • John Richardson, Servite High School (Book Sponsor: Judy Joss ’76)
  • Samantha Toth, Santa Margarita Catholic High School (Book Sponsor: Chris Looney ’95)
  • Shannon McNaught, San Clemente High School (Book Sponsor: David Bargueno ’08)
  • Ji An Wang, University High School (Book Sponsors: Mike Wang ’10 and Cindy Barnard ’84)
  • Christina Zolli Poindexter, St. Margaret’s Episcopal High School (Book Sponsor: Laurie Girard ’83)
  • Rami Bashour, Magnolia High School (Book Sponsor: Roger Philips ’67)

2006-07 – Book: Beloved by Toni Morrison

  • Wendy Chang, University High School (Book Sponsors: Mike Wang ’10 and Cindy Barnard ’84)
  • Tiffany Chen, Troy High School (Book Sponsor: Ellen Junn *84)
  • Juan Vargas, San Clemente High School (Book Sponsor: David Bargueno ’08)
  • Megan Woods, Santa Margarita Catholic High School (Book Sponsor: Chris Looney ’95)

2005-06 – Book: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

  • Winston Chang, Troy High School (Book Sponsor: Ellen Junn *84)