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HPA’S Sims named U.S. presidential scholar semifinalist

Zoe Sims, a senior at Hawaii Preparatory Academy, has been named one of about 550 semifinalists in the 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The semifinalists were selected from more than 3,900 candidates on the basis of superior achievements, leadership qualities, personal character, and involvement in community and school activities.

Sims is the school’s second consecutive candidate in this prestigious program. Last year, HPA’s Kyle Matsuda was named a 2012 U.S. Presidential Scholar. Matsuda is now studying at Harvard University

Sims, who also is a finalist in the 58th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, 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. This year, as a captain of the girls cross-country team, Sims won the BIIF championship and placed fifth at the state championship. She is the student council president and is currently the captain of the track team.

Sims is the daughter of Neil and Kathryn Sims of Kailua-Kona. She will attend Princeton University this fall, where she also will compete on the Tigers’ cross country and track teams.

Other Hawaii semifinalists are: Logan K. Davis, Iolani School; Paul N. Gregg, Parker School; Courtney S. Kobata, Iolani School; Jantien K, Shizuru, Kamehameha High School—Kapalama; and Matthew K. Sueda, Waiakea High School.

Final selection of the Scholars will be made by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of eminent citizens appointed by the president, and will be announced in May. The Commission will select one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. students living abroad.

Scholars will be invited to Washington, D.C., in June to receive the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in various activities and events held in their honor.