Maui News

MHS Senior is ACT’s 2017 Hawaiʻi Student Readiness Award Recipient

March 13, 2017, 2:04 PM HST
* Updated March 13, 2:06 PM
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(LtoR) Principal Jamie Yap, Senior Son Phan, Post-Secondary Counselor Tad Iwata.

Maui High School senior, Son Phan, has been selected as the Hawai’i Student Readiness Award recipient from among all of the applicants for the 2016-17 ACT College and Career Readiness Campaign.

Maui High Principal, Jamie Yap, along with College & Career Counselor, Tad Iwata, visited Son at his AP European History class on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 and presented the standout student with a certificate of the award in front of a classroom full of his peers.

“It’s a really great honor but mostly I’m appreciative to my mentors, like Mr. Ginoza (retired MHS Science teacher) and all my teachers at Maui High. I’m grateful to them for building me up to this point,” says Phan after receiving the news about the award.

Iwata, whose role at MHS is dedicated to helping students prepare for life after high school, says that “Son Phan is very deserving of this recognition as Hawaiʻi’s Student Exemplar of the Year. Son continually demonstrates growth and excellence both in and out of the classroom. Son exemplifies the characteristics of college and career readiness, which is Maui High’s vision for all students.”

Currently Phan holds a 4.0 GPA, is enrolled in six AP courses, serves as president of Maui High’s Math League, president of Maui High’s Pacific Asian American Council, and is a member of Maui High’s Science Bowl team, Health Occupation Students of America, Key Club, and National Honor Society.


He also volunteers at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center and assists English Language Learners on campus who speak Vietnamese as their first language with their studies from time to time.


Phan has his eyes set on two colleges in particular, Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania. He says, “both offer an all around good program and I’m still weighing which program of study I want to pursue.”

As the state student exemplar Son will receive a $500 scholarship to the college or university of his choice. This spring, he will be considered along with the other state exemplars for national semifinalist and national exemplar status, which could increase his scholarship award to $1000 or $4000. All national exemplars will be celebrated in Iowa City at a ceremony next fall.

Fellow Maui High senior, Briana Yamamoto, was also one of the nine finalists in consideration for Hawaiʻi’s 2017 student exemplar.


In 2016, Maui High School was the recipient of the College and Career Transition Award Recipient in this same campaign, becoming the first high school in Hawaiʻi to be awarded this honor.

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