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2015 Students of Distinction: Haley Meisburger

Haley Meisburger is a well-rounded student who equally excels at academics and sports. Ranked 15th academically, she has maintained a near-perfect GPA while taking rigorous classes.

She feels that being able to handle all her activities, taking challenging courses and balancing a tough schedule is the highest achievement of her high school career.

“It all goes back to budgeting my time and knowing what it takes to succeed,” she said.

Meisburger has been playing tennis since sixth grade. In high school, she started at the bottom of the junior varsity team.

“I worked really hard and the next year I was at the top of the varsity team,” said Meisburger, who has also served as the team captain.

Her tennis instructor of seven years, Palmer Koon, said Meisburger is a serious and hardworking student whose determination propelled her to become one of the best doubles players in her league.

“She has found that perfect balance of being very competitive but always a good sport, always fair to her opponents, encouraging and positive to her fellow students and doubles partners, while having fun along the way,” Koon said.

One of her major commitments has been the Speech and Debate Team, which she joined as a freshman. She said it gave her the opportunity to express herself and show others her passion for specific topics.

She’s one of the few students who participated in all major types of competitive events: speech, interpretation and debate, placing well at various competitions.

As the secretary and treasurer for the team, Meisburger helps organize fundraisers and activities as well as track the team’s finances.

“In addition to competitive success, Haley is also an important leader on our team of almost 100 students,” said the team’s coach, Chris Coovert. “She also is an important peer coach for younger students who need help.”

Mesiburger’s schedule includes a variety of community service and volunteer activities. She’s been building homes for Habitat for Humanity, tutoring elementary school students and serving as a science camp counselor, among other things.

Meisburger has received scholarship offers from several colleges, with an average of $88,000. Her plan is to study mechanical engineering at the University of Portland, where she was recognized with a Presidential Scholarship.

“I think mechanical engineering is really fascinating because there are so many opportunities within it and can lead to so many societal improvements,” she said. “I want to make a difference with it.”

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