Yahoo Weather

You are here

HPA’s Zoe Sims named U.S. Presidential Scholar



Zoe Sims, a senior at Hawaii Preparatory Academy, has been named a 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholar. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced the 49th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, recognizing 141 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics or the arts.

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

Said HPA Headmaster Lindsay Barnes of Sims, “Zoe is everything a faculty member or administrator could want in a student. She has taken full advantage of all the curricular and extracurricular opportunities that a well-rounded school like HPA offers. We are so proud of, and happy for, Zoe. A more deserving recipient I cannot possibly imagine.”

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 cross country champion and went on with her teammates to take the 2011 state championship. This year, as a captain of the girls cross country team, Sims won the BIIF championship and placed fifth at the state championship. In track, Sims won her first state title in 2011 in the 1,500-meter. On Saturday, May 4, Sims, who is the captain of the track team, set the BIIF record in the 1,500-meter and took multiple BIIF championships in the 1,500-meter, 800-meter, and the 4-x-400 meter relay.

Sims is the student council president and a member of Cum Laude, the school’s honor society. She is the recipient of 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. She also was one of five grand prize winners of the APEC 2011 High School Essay Contest. The essay contest winners had the unprecedented opportunity to hear from President Barack Obama, President Hu Jintao of China, and other world leaders and global chief executive officers attending the APEC CEO Summit in November 2011.

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.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, at, appointed by President 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 three million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 3,300 candidates qualified for the 2013 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, at, competition.

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 U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts. Hawaii’s other 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholar is Paul N. Gregg of Parker School.

The 2013 ceremony will be held June 16, when each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion.

For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program and this year’s Scholars, visit