Being a kid today ain’t easy, at least not if you hope to attend Williams … as can be seen from the scarily exhaustive accomplishments of some of the future Ephs highlighted in recent news stories.  Somehow, I fear that my high school resume, which included memorizing all of the dialogue in Die Hard, shooting hoops in my driveway, making wry observations while hanging around the mall, re-reading the Lord of the Rings, and just generally rocking the suburbs, would suffer in comparison:

  • Tara Miller was valedictorian of Lansing High School in Ithaca, New York.  Somehow, in her spare time, “her many accomplishments and activities include: two Academic Achievement Award in Foreign Language and one in science, the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award, and ranking nationally and regionally in the French exam, a National Merit Finalist, a Presidential Scholar Candidate, Press Corps Outstanding Journalist at Hilton Model UN, NYSSMA Sr. High All-State Chorus for two years, co-president of Model UN, co-captain of varsity volleyball, secretary of National Honor Society, secretary of the Green Team, varsity indoor and outdoor track, the American Mathematics Competition, musicals, varsity chorale, show choir, band (flute), symphony orchestra, NYSSMA Solo Festival and seven published poems.”  Then again, why not publish EIGHT poems?  Slacker.
  • Rahul Nath was valedictorian of Glen Cove High School on Long Island.  Rahul’s ambitions — “I don’t know exactly what I’d like to be yet, but it should involve changing the way one would eat cereal in the morning,” he said. “You know, making a difference in the world” — are matched by his precociousness: “During this year’s Senior Awards ceremony, Nath won seven different awards for his achievements in community service, mock trail, drama and science.  He is also a designated AP Scholar with Distinction from the College Board, having received awards for excellence in AP Calculus, Biology and European History. In total, Nath completed 10 AP courses.  Not only has Nath achieved Principal’s Honor Roll since his freshman year, he was also named a Long Island Scholar by the Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented students.  A four-year member of the Wrestling squad, Nath earned All-Conference status for three of those years and a Superintendent’s Cup nomination this winter.  He also played football, lacrosse and tennis during his four years at GCHS.  Nath served as first chair trombone player with the Jazz Ensemble and as Vice President and bass section leader with the Select Chorale. He achieved All-County in Chorus last year and has performed with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Choir.”  Nath is not exacting resting on his laurels this summer, when his plans include “learning to drive a stick shift, learning to play bridge and the bagpipes, learning to speak rudimentary Latin, and learning to count cards effectively.”
  • Steven Kiesel, the boy’s scholar-athlete of the year at the Breck School in Minnesota, maintained a “3.6 GPA, with an emphasis on AP classes,” has played the saxophone since fifth grade, was named (despite being an undersized 5’9 160) first-team all-state as a wide receiver, is a three-time all-state lacrosse player, is a National Merit semifinalist, and “is one of seven MSHSL Triple A (Athletics, Academic, Arts) finalists as a senior.”  He is also wise beyond his years, listing his most gratifying non-athletic accomplishment as follows: “Getting accepted to Williams College. It’s a very exclusive school. I’m very proud to get in there. It was a big moment for me when I heard I was accepted.”  Be sure to watch the interview with Kiesel below as he illuminates a reporter about the history and pronunciation of “Ephs.”

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  • Andrew Bravo, valedictorian of Lenox High School, will stay close to home as an Eph next year.  “Bravo is an accomplished scholar-athlete.  He has played on the LMMHS varsity soccer team, varsity basketball team and the varsity baseball team, serving as captain for all three teams.  He has been an All-Eagle selection in each sport and has served as LMMHS’s senior MIAA Student Ambassador.  In addition, he is president of the National Honor Society, has been in Peer Education since 10th grade and is a member of the Quidditch team. He was the recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award and the CIAO Soccer Scholarship.  Bravo plans to attend Williams College in the fall where he will be majoring in biochemistry.”
  • Elaina Pullano, another local product, and yet another arts-athletics-academics-leadership quadruple-threat, was valedictorian of Wahconah Regional High School in Dalton, Massachusetts.  “Pullano is a member the National Honor Society, Student Council, Peer Mediation and the Mentoring program.  She participated in four years of varsity girls soccer and track and was captain of the track team this spring.  Within the community, she has been active as a member of the Interact Club, CRA Leaders Club and participated in her church by teaching Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.  She also was an award-winning vocalist in chorus and was selected Girls’ State.”
  • Jenna Maddock was in the cum laude society at Berwick High School in Maine.  Her insane depth and breadth of accomplishments should sound familiar by this point: “Jenna was inducted into the Cum Laude Society her junior year. She has maintained a respectable academic record, achieving high honors in every marking period and having the highest class average for five of the seven years from fifth grade on. She has also received Departmental Recognition Awards in science and French, the Princeton Book Award of Maine, the Chemistry Medal, and is a member of the National French Honor Society.  She has placed first in the state of Maine and in the top ten nationally for the past 5 years in the National French Exam and was a Presidential Scholar Nominee and National Merit Finalist.  She was also the top scorer in the state of Maine for the Chemistry Olympiad as a junior.  In addition to her academics, Jenna has played seven seasons of Varsity athletics at Berwick, four in Cross-Country and three in Softball.  In running, she has been named All-NEPSTA for all four years, team MVP and an EIL All-Star for the past two years, and was a co-captain her senior year.  She was named an EIL All-Star as a junior in Softball as well.  In addition to school athletics, Jenna is a Nordic skier and trains year round for the sport.  Skiing for Gunstock Nordic Association, she has been named to the New Hampshire J2 for both years she was eligible and has been named to the New Hampshire Eastern High School team for all four years.  This past year, she was the top-ranked female skier on the New Hampshire team and also qualified to compete in Junior Nationals in Minneapolis, where her best finish was nineteenth place.  Jenna also plays flute, playing in the Winterfest Audition Concert for three out of her four years in high school and performing in the pit orchestra for musicals. She has also played the piano at school concerts and Coffeehouses and enjoys being able to perform with other students.  In addition, she has been part of the stage crew for the winter musical.”  Jenna has not, however, discovered a cure for cancer or traveled to the moon.  So there.
  • Lauren Nevin was salutatorian of Portsmouth High School in New Hampshire.  “While in high school, Lauren’s school and/or community activities included Portsmouth High School student council: co-president as senior, treasurer as junior; varsity lacrosse: senior captain, four varsity letters; varsity soccer: senior captain, three varsity letters; varsity basketball: senior captain, three varsity letters; referee for fifth-grade basketball league; National Honor Society: Executive Board.  During her high school career, Lauren received the following honors or awards: Harvard Book Prize (2010); National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Achievement Award in Writing (2010); St. Paul’s Advanced Studies Program Superior Merit in Core Class (“The Quest”); St. Paul’s Advanced Studies Program Superior Merit in Writing Workshop; NHIAA Scholar Athlete Award; Granite State Scholar; National Honor Society; Several Awards in Academic Achievement in various high school courses; All State Honorable Mention for Soccer (2009 and 2010); Foster’s Dream Team Honorable Mention for Soccer (2010); Most Valuable Player, Lacrosse (2010).”

Congratulations to all.  I’d wish them good luck, but I don’t think they really need it …

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