While professional tennis players have been serving up powerful matches in the U.S. Open this past week, local high school tennis standout Mika Ikemori is gaining recognition for her talent and resilience.
The Orange County Register reported that Ikemori, a senior at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, finished this past tennis season as runner-up in the California Interscholastic Federation singles division, made it to the finals of a Level 3 doubles tournament, competed in a UTR Pro Tennis event, and received recognition at the Southern California National High School Tennis All-American banquet in June — all while fighting epilepsy.
Ikemori previously shared that her condition is mild and she takes medication to help control her seizures, which happen on and off the court. All the while, the tennis star maintains a 4.4 GPA and will attend University of California, Davis after graduation.
Her coach, Chuck Kingman, told the Orange County Register, “To play at the level she does, with the amount of hard work, practice and focus required to do so while battling medical issues is just unbelievable.”
In January, Ikemori received a new pacemaker-like device that helps to further manage her seizures. After starting the new season last month, she hopes it will improve her condition as she continues to smash hit after hit.
Here are the other stories we’ve been following this week:
- A three-story structure built to house 30 classrooms equipped with high-quality STEM instruments was introduced to Los Alamitos Unified School District staff and students during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 25.
- To celebrate the back-to-school season, the OCDE Newsroom has gathered social media posts from each of the 28 Orange County school districts as they welcome their students back with balloons, banners and more.
- Law enforcement leaders and school safety professionals discussed strategies to keep local campuses safe and secure at the Orange County School Safety Summit on Wednesday.
- With temperatures expected to reach triple digits this Labor Day weekend, the Orange County Health Care Agency advises residents to take necessary precautions following an excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service.
- The National Center for Education Statistics reported that the average reading and math scores for 9-year-olds have significantly dropped since the start of the pandemic.
- EdSource reported that a bill to mandate kindergarten for all children in California was approved by the state Senate on Monday.
- A free bilingual digital literacy program will be available to all English and Spanish learners in the state beginning Wednesday.
- Thousands of students were unable to return to campus at the start of the school year due to 1 in 8 children ages 4 to 6 reportedly not having their vaccinations against the measles, mumps and rubella, according to the California Department of Public Health.
- Advanced Placement African American Studies will be offered at 60 high schools across the United States beginning this fall.
- If passed, a new California bill would prohibit public schools, colleges and universities in the state from purchasing foreign-grown products for student meals.
This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroom, subscribing for emailed updates and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.