Tops among all U.S. students
May 16, 2007
RAF LAKENHEATH — For their ability to juggle extracurricular activities while maintaining unearthly grade- point averages, two Lakenheath High School seniors were named 2007 Presidential Scholars earlier this month.
Kyle McCloskey and Greg Billington joined 139 other students selected for the honor.
To get two scholars in one school is no small order. Two students from each state are chosen for the distinction, and only two kids from the entire Department of Defense Dependents Schools system are tapped.
“Only  people were selected in the U.S.” Billington said. “I thought that was kind of cool.”
Despite the accolades, McCloskey and Billington were subdued when talking about the award last week. In fact, they both looked quite shredded. A week of Advance Placement testing in government, calculus and a bunch of other subjects will do that.
“It’s pretty exciting,” McCloskey said. “But it’s washed away in the week of AP exams.”
“They’re great kids, top of the class,” said Kent Worford, Lakenheath High’s principal. “They participate in a lot of extracurricular activities and also the academics.”
McCloskey, 18, and Billington, 17, both have 4.2 GPAs. McCloskey has participated in all types of fine arts as well as the Model UN and Model U.S. Senate.
Billington runs track, is applying to be an Eagle Scout and plays piano.
They were selected for the Presidential Scholar distinction based on their SAT scores, GPA, extracurricular activities and personal essays, Worford said.
The two will travel to Washington, D.C., in late June to accept their medals and meet the president.
When it comes to balancing so many priorities, McCloskey said it’s just a matter of diving in.
“Get it done as quick as possible,” he said. “When your parents ask you if it’s done, that keeps you in line.”
While both seniors will head to college in the States next year, they said they’re not too concerned about being apart from their parents.
“I think a lot of this is their personal drive that they have academically and then outside the classroom,” Worford said, adding that the parents can be thanked as well. “That is key. They’re involved in their child’s education, and they do what’s necessary.”