Categorized | Education, Featured

Matsunobu named 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholar

Lysha Matsunobu (Photo courtesy of Parker School)

Lysha Matsunobu (Photo courtesy of Parker School)


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has announced the selection of Parker School senior Lysha Matsunobu as a 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholar.

Matsunobu is one of 141 outstanding American high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service, and contribution to school and community.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars will be honored for their accomplishments June 22-25 in Washington D.C.

“The extraordinary young men and women being honored for the 50th anniversary of the Presidential Scholars have excelled in their educational, artistic and civic pursuits,” Duncan said. “They show all of us that when students challenge themselves and commit themselves to excellence, the results can be astounding. These scholars will help move our country forward and will have a lasting impact on their families, communities, and on our society. They represent the potential of all young citizens to lift up America.”

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by President Barack Obama, selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Of the 3 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 3,900 candidates qualified for the 2014 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers or the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts competition.

The 2014 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 U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 6,500 of the nation’s top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual ceremony in D.C. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts.

Since 1983, each Presidential Scholar has been offered the opportunity to name his or her most influential teacher. Each distinguished teacher is honored with a personal letter from the Secretary of Education.

Matsunobu chose Parker English and history teacher Ruth Sturges for recognition.

Matsunobu, the daughter of Miriam and Neal Matsunobu of Kona, has also recently advanced as a National Merit Finalist.

As a student at Parker, she has been a Richard Smart Scholar, has earned the Yale Book Award, is an AP Scholar with Distinction, and has earned the National Forensics League Degree of Distinction for her accomplishments on the debate team.

She is a member of the Parker School Investment Club, is National Honor Society President and Lincoln-Douglas Debate Captain.

Matsunobu has also recently appeared in the news for her science accomplishments — she attended the Summer Science Program (SSP) in Santa Barbara last summer.

SSP is “one of the oldest and most successful summer enrichment programs for academically gifted high school students” and Matsunobu was one of 72 out of 742 national and international applicants accepted to attend.

She was also a presenter at the Galaxy Forum in Waimea in November.

In 2010, Parker student Mary Kamitaki was selected as a U.S Presidential Scholar Program semifinalist and last year, Parker student Paul Gregg was named one of the two 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars from Hawaii.


Parker School Announces Scholarship Recipients

Parker School has announces the recipients of the 9th grade Richard Smart Scholarships and middle school Ulu Pono Scholarships for the 2014-2015 school year.

For each type of scholarship, three new students and one current student were selected and will receive $8,500 toward tuition for each year of their Parker career provided they maintain appropriate academic and behavioral standing.

The Ulu Pono Scholars were selected based on financial need, academic promise, strong character, and passion for an area of interest.

The Smart Scholars were selected on the basis of financial need, merit, and exceptional academic potential.

The school congratulates the following scholars:

* 9th Grade Richard Smart Scholars:

Pono Blaisdell (currently at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Lihue, Kauai)

Spencer Corabi (currently at Paauilo Intermediate School)

Owen Matsuda (currently at Parker School)

Mathias Migliorini-Marchesi (currently at Waikoloa Middle School)

* Middle School Ulu Pono Scholars:

Emily Fetsch (currently in 7th grade, Waimea Middle Public Charter Conversion school)

Benjamin Koaia May (currently in 5th grade, Kanu o ka Aina New Century Public Charter School)

Taiga Okada (currently in 5th grade, Waikoloa Elementary School)

Eloise Robertson (currently in 5th grade, Parker School)


Parker School Receives Grant from Waimea Outdoor Circle

In March, the Waimea Outdoor Circle awarded Parker School $3467.69.

Cheryl Langton, branch president, and Malia Mangarin, past president and advisor, of the Waimea Outdoor Circle, visited the school’s campus to present the check to Headmaster Carl Sturges and Advancement Director Jennifer Richardson.

Parker wishes to thank the Waimea Outdoor Circle for this generous gift, which will be used for sustainability education.


Additions to Parker School’s Summer Program

Parker School is adding two new programs to its offerings this summer.

In addition to the popular summer camp for ages 5-12, there will be enrichment courses for ages 11-17, and Challenger Sports’ British Soccer Camp for ages 3-14.

Parker Summer Camp for ages 5-12 runs June 2-July 18. Now in its fifth year, the camp will run Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Science, art, drama and athletic activities support a fun daily structure which includes snacks, games and off-campus excursions.

Enroll in these theme-based camps on a weekly basis or receive a discount for the whole summer.

The cost is $195 per week or $1,200 for the full session.

Also running June 2-July 18, are new half-day, week-long enrichment courses for ages 11-17.

These courses have been designed to provide meaningful, dynamic learning opportunities in a relaxed summertime atmosphere.

Each course offers fundamental educational elements put to direct practice, culminating in final events and projects. Courses include dramatic arts, choral arts, dance/media intensive, acting/improv intensive, outdoor survival skills camp, jewelry design and creation, Chinese Kempo & self-defense, as well as a land & cultural sustainability program.

Most are multiple-week camps, however, students can sign up week by week.

Students who do not participate in the entire camp will require instructor approval to participate in any culminating event or finale.

The cost is $125 per week.

Parker Bulls Soccer Club is offering Challenger Sports’ British Soccer Camp at Parker July 14-18.

With programs for each age group, the curriculum includes a variety of foot skills, technical drills, tactical practices, freestyle soccer, small-sided games, coached scrimmages, and a mini tournament.

Players also learn about the core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, sportsmanship and leadership.

The age 3-4 group will meet each day 9-10 a.m. and costs $75; age 4-5 group meets from 10:30 a.m.-noon and costs $90; age 6-14 half-day option meets 9 a.m.-noon and costs $125; and the age 8-14 full-day option meets 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and costs $195.


(Photo courtesy of Parker School)

(Photo courtesy of Parker School)

Parker Lower School’s May Day Hoike

Parker Lower School celebrated its ninth Annual May Day Hoike on May 2.

Kindergarten through fifth grade students performed various chants, songs and hula reflecting this year’s theme, I ka wa ma mua, I ka wa ma hope, which is interpreted as “The wisdom of our elders is the torch which enlightens the path of the children.”

The students began preparing for May Day in September under the instruction of visiting kumu Liana Aveiro and Pua Garmon.

The school wishes to thank both kumu for their hard work, dedication and guidance, the Hapa Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation for its generous support, the Parker PTSO, and all of the volunteers, families and students who helped make the event a success.

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