Categorized | Education

Parker’s Gregg named U.S. Presidential Scholar semifinalist


Parker School announces senior Paul Gregg has been named a semifinalist in the 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Paul Gregg

He is one of 550 students in the nation selected from more than 3,900 who scored exceptionally well on the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or the ACT (American College Testing) test — out of the over two million U.S. students who took either test this year — and “on the basis of superior achievements, leadership qualities, personal character, and involvement in community and school activities,” according to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Office.

There are a total of six semi-finalists from the state of Hawaii, and two will find out in May if they made it into the final selection of Presidential Scholars.

Gregg, also a National Merit Scholarship Program Finalist and scholarship recipient, is very active in his school community.

He has been a member of Parker School’s debate team for four years, Student Council for three years (and is vice-president this year), and National Honors Society for two years (and is vice-president this year).

He has been very involved in community service efforts (he was one of the students who stayed up all night to help evacuees from the coast take shelter at Parker School during the tsunami warning last fall and he helped spearhead Student Council’s efforts to raise money for Hurricane Sandy Relief this spring).

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

An accomplished athlete, Gregg ran on the cross country team (he was named Most Valuable Player twice and was one of the top Big Island runners) and played soccer for Parker for four years.

Gregg has won several awards throughout his high school career: 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.

Accepted into several colleges and universities, Gregg will soon decide if he will attend Harvard University, Stanford University, Pomona College or Swarthmore College.

He said, “I want to study so many things — physics, astrophysics, linguistics, neuroscience, mathematics, and more — and I have no idea what I want to be! But I do know that I want to do something that makes a tangible, positive impact on the world, and something that isn’t just repeating someone else’s work. Something in the new frontiers of human knowledge.”

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Office stated that the final selection of U.S. Presidential Scholars is made by the Commission on Presidential Scholars, “a group of eminent citizens appointed by the President,” and they “will select one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. students living abroad; up to 20 students representing the visual, literary and performing arts; and 15 students at-large.”

If selected, Gregg will be invited to a recognition ceremony in Washington D.C. in June where he and the other scholars would receive the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion and be honored at various events.

Parker School Headmaster Carl Sturges said, “It is a very rare, prestigious award and we are very proud of Paul to have achieved this level of success.”

About being a U.S. Presidential Scholar semifinalist, Gregg said, “No one can have such success and give credit only to themselves. My parents have encouraged and nurtured me every step of the way, and Parker School has provided a welcoming, stimulating environment that is so rare and invaluable. I owe everything to the unconditional support of my family and friends, my extended ohana.”

Other Hawaii semifinalists are Zoe Sims, Hawaii Preparatory Academy; Matthew K. Sueda, Waiakea High School; Logan K. Davis, Iolani School; Courtney S. Kobata, Iolani School; and Jantien K, Shizuru, Kamehameha High School—Kapalama.

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