Maui’s Student is Semi-Finalist for US Presidential Scholars Program
By Wendy Osher
A senior from Maui High School is the only student from Maui County, and one of only six seniors in the state, to be named as a semi-finalist for the prestigious US Presidential Scholars Program.
Trent Hori, who graduates on May 24, was also named valedictorian at Maui High School, and plans to pursue electrical engineering when he attends college at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in the fall, a Department of Education announcement said.
In addition to his academic excellence, Hori is also a member of the Maui High baseball team, an Eagle Scout, an all-state bowler, a member of the Hawaiʻi All-State Band that performed at the Rose Parade in January 2014, and served as a senior intern for Senator Brian Schatz in Washington, DC last year, according to DOE officials.
The remaining semi-finalists include: Spencer H. Kiehm of ʻIolani School on Oʻahu; Matthew R. Beattie-Callahan, of ʻIolani School on Oʻahu; Lysha M. Matsunobu of Parker School in Kailua-Kona on Hawaiʻi Island; Viola Mocz of Mililani High School on Oʻahu; and Nicole A. Fernandez of Radford High School on Oʻahu.
Officials with the state Department of Education in Hawaiʻi said they are pleased that public school seniors make up half of the Hawaiʻi semifinalists for the program.
“This is a tremendous honor for Nicole, Trent and Viola, each of whom represent the epitome of excellence in the Class of 2014,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi in a DOE press release. “We are so very proud of them and wish them continued success in their post-secondary endeavors.”
According to the US Department of Education website, the US Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.
According to the US DOE, the Presidential Scholars accolade is one of the “nation’s highest honors” for high school students, with up to 141 students each year selected for the list.