Carter Nakamoto ’17 Named Presidential Scholar

Carter Nakamoto ’17

Recent graduate Carter Nakamoto ’17 has been named a 2017 Presidential Scholar. Nakamoto is among 161 high school seniors across the country chosen from a pool of over 5,100 invited qualifying graduating seniors. One other Hawai‘i student, from Kalani High School, was also named a Presidential Scholar.

The U.S. Presidential Scholar Program recognizes the nation’s highest-achieving seniors, honoring students based on excellence in academics and the arts, as well as leadership and contributions to their community.

Nakamoto was active in the Speech and Debate Club and was captain for the Lincoln-Douglas team. He was a lead teaching assistant with the Japanese immersion program and a teaching assistant in biology, chemistry and physics.

His list of recognitions includes a Rensselaer Medal, a scholarship awarded by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; a President’s Volunteer Service Award; and he is a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist. His Punahou Excellence Awards include English, AP U.S. History, Geometry, AP Physics and Biology Honors.

Classmates have said Nakamoto not only understands the concepts but is also quick to come to the aid of others. “He really cares about other

students and their learning, and he is always willing to help,” said science teacher Alex Paer ’08, whom Nakamoto named as his most influential teacher and mentor.

Nakamoto cites his parents and the School as important facets of his life. “My family has been really supportive in creating an environment where it was easy to be dedicated to my passions,” said Nakamoto. “Punahou has provided a great community of inspiring teachers and students.”

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