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DHS Student Presidential Scholar Semifinalist

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DHS Student Presidential Scholar Semifinalist
Posted on 04/28/2020
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Deering High School student Glynis O’Meara is one of just six Maine seniors to be named national semifinalists in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

The semifinalist scholars are chosen on the basis of their accomplishments in many areas, including academic and artistic success, career and technical fields, leadership, and involvement in school and the community. They represent excellence in education and are among the most accomplished youth in the nation.

That aptly describes Glynis, according to Deering school counselor Libby Heselton and Brian Dodge, who is Glynis’ calculus teacher and her coach on the Deering Debate Team.

She is an inspiring student, the two wrote in the following description of her: “As a top student, she has demonstrated an exceptional work ethic, persistent curiosity, and exceptional leadership. She has competed on the national level twice for debate, won first place in state competitions, and sportsmanship awards with her team. Her ability to process and build highly complex argumentation and make that argument accessible is unparalleled and impactful. She motivates us to think and consider our opinions.

Glynis has shown a willingness to work hard and stay curious, always trying to improve herself and help others. Deering is a large school (roughly 950 students) yet every single student, teacher, and staff member knows Glynis and her quality character, friendliness, and enthusiasm. Beyond Deering, Glynis is an active volunteer on the front line of political change, human rights, and environmental activism. She is a changemaker intent on making the world a better place for all of us. She is kind, open-minded, thoughtful, inspiring. She makes a profound impression on everyone she meets.”

Academically, Glynis has maintained high honors all four years at Deering and has also taken three math classes at the University of Southern Maine. She has taken a number of AP classes and achieved the highest score in the test for each class. She has been inducted into the National Honor Society, where she was given the Brown University Book Award. She also is a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. She plans to attend Columbia University, where she intends to study political science and economics.

“The Portland Public Schools is very proud of Glynis, who clearly deserves this recognition as one of our nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors,” Superintendent Xavier Botana said. “Her success is also proof of the quality education that Deering High School and Portland’s other public schools offer to our students.”

Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner of Education Pender Makin congratulated the six seniors. In addition to Glynis, the semifinalists were students Abigail Aleshire, Waynflete School; Ethan Eickmann, Kennebunk High School; Jay Philbrick, Maine School of Science & Mathematics; Neily Raymond, Hermon High School; and John Wahlig III, Falmouth High School.

“These graduating seniors exemplify the Maine spirit of hard work, creativity and civic engagement, and I am honored to recognize their achievement,” said Governor Mills. “I know I speak for all of us when I say how proud I am of these young scholars, and I look forward to their future contributions to our great state.”

From nearly 3.6 million graduating high school seniors from across the country, over 5,600 students were identified as candidates in this program. 621 semifinalists were selected, six of whom are from Maine.

“I join the families, friends, and school communities of these outstanding Maine seniors in celebrating the determination, commitment and accomplishments that this recognition reflects,” said Commissioner Makin. “We are proud to have these students represent the State of Maine’s Class of 2020.”