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HPA’s Sims named candidate in U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

<p>Zoe Sims (PHOTO COURTESY OF HPA FOR NHN)</p>

Zoe Sims (PHOTO COURTESY OF HPA FOR NHN)

Zoe Sims, a senior at Hawaii Preparatory Academy, has been named one of more than 3,000 candidates in the 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The candidates were selected from nearly 3.4 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2013.

Sims is HPA’s second consecutive U.S. Presidential Scholars Program candidate. Last year, Kyle Matsuda was named a 2012 Presidential Scholar. Matsuda currently is a student at Harvard University.

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 49th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community, and school activities.

Sims, the daughter of Neil and Kathryn Sims of Kailua-Kona, is an active member of the HPA community. She is student body president and served as class representative on the student council for two years. She also serves on the school’s Honor Council. In addition, Sims has written numerous articles for Ma Ke Kula, the school magazine, and North Hawaii News.

Sims is well known in the running community as one of the state’s top harriers. She was the 2011 individual BIIF champion and went on with her teammates to take the 2011 state championship. In track, Sims won her first state title in 2011 in the 1500m; she also took second at states that year in the 400m. This year, as a captain of the girls cross-country team, Sims won the BIIF championship and placed fifth at the state championship.

More than 3,000 candidates were selected for their exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT Assessment. In addition, each Chief State School Officer (CSSO) was invited to nominate three male and three female candidates, based on their outstanding scholarship, residing in the CSSO’s jurisdiction. Further consideration is based on students’ essays, self-assessments, descriptions of activities, school recommendations, and school transcripts. A distinguished panel of educators will review these submissions and select 500 semifinalists in early April.

The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the president, will make final selection of the Scholars. 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; 15 students at-large; and up to 20 students from the creative and performing arts. The U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May.

Scholars will be invited to Washington, D.C., for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities with their elected representatives, educators, and other leading individuals in public life.

For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/psp/awards.html.