East Hawaii News

HPA, Parker Students Named Hawaii’s Presidential Scholars

May 6, 2013, 6:27 PM HST
* Updated May 7, 6:02 PM
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Two students from high schools in Waimea have been named US Presidential Scholars.

They are Zoe Sims of Hawaii Preparatory Academy and Paul N. Gregg from Parker School.

The announcement of the 49th class of US Presidential Scholars was made today by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

The two, both of whom are seniors and also finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program, were the only Hawaii students chosen among the top 141 in the country.

Sims is HPA’s second consecutive US Presidential Scholar. Kyle Matsuda, last year’s honoree, is now studying at Harvard University.

Sims is the Student Council president and a member of Cum Laude, the school’s honor society.

She has won numerous academic awards including the school’s John L. Pricher Award, the Mount Holyoke Book Award, Calculus Honors Award, Cathy Schmidel Award for Excellence in Social Science, and Bausch & Lomb Junior Science Scholar.

Sims also was one of five grand prize winners of the APEC 2011 High School Essay Contest.

She is also a student athlete. Sims, a former state champion in the 1,500-meter run, this year won the Big Island Interscholastic Federation titles in cross country. This past Saturday she also won the 1,500-meter and 800-meter BIIF titles and was a member of the winning 4 by 400 relay.

Sims, a resident of Kailua-Kona, plans to attend Princeton University this fall.

Gregg has been a member of Parker School’s debate team for four years and is the vice-president of the school’s Student Council.

He is a founding member and co-president of the International Thespian Society and has been actively involved for four years in Dramatiques, Parker’s after-school drama program, and currently serves as its musical director.

Awards Gregg has won include the Brown University Book Award, the Richard Smart Junior Award for Excellence; and Degree of Special Distinction for his achievements in debate. In addition, he is an accomplished singer and musician who primarily plays piano, but also guitar, ukulele and violin.

Gregg, too, is an athlete who was named the school’s most valuable player twice in cross country and played on Parker’s soccer team for four years.

Gregg, a Kamuela resident, was choosing between Harvard, Stanford University, Pomona College or Swarthmore College this fall.

The 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from US families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large as well as 20 US Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

The winners were chosen by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars from 3,300 finalists based on their performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for June 16 in Washington DC.

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