NEWPORT BEACH — The highest-performing seniors from the city's two public high schools were recognized Tuesday for top grade and community service.
The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce's Commodores Club honored 31 students from Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar high schools at the 50th annual Scholarship Awards Breakfast at the Island Hotel.
"You are part of the 1%," said guest speaker Ted McGinley, who played Jefferson D'Arcy on "Married... with Children." "The 1% not just in Orange County, not just in California, not just in the country, but in the world."
Under a tented ceiling, city and Newport-Mesa Unified School District, officials along with students and their parents, had breakfast wearing suits and ties and dresses and heels.
For Corona del Mar senior Candice Wang, the event was an unexpected recognition of her hard work over the years.
"I kind of just really appreciate all the effort put into this event," she said. "It's kind of a privilege to be standing with all my fellow classmates too."
The room was full of Advanced Placement and National Merit scholars, academic decathletes, varsity sports athletes, Eagle and Girl scouts, and one homecoming queen.
The celebration wasn't just for the students' accomplishments but the promise of their futures.
Many of the students intended on becoming UCLA Bruins, USC Trojans or California Golden Bears, but others had decided on Harvard, Stanford, Cornell and Notre Dame. One student had a full ride to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
McGinley, a Newport Harbor alumnus, told the students that being part of that 1% and going off to the best universities in the country saddles them with a responsibility to help move others who aren't part of their distinguished league.
"I think that is part of your responsibility, and I hope that you embrace that because I believe you are all more than capable," he said.