Senior Spotlight 2020

The TKA Class of 2020!

 

Scroll down for their spotlights.

Valedictorian

Nathaniel Wallace Hall has attended The King’s Academy since fifth grade and has demonstrated excellence in many areas of student life.

A committed student, Nathaniel achieved High Honor Roll every year at TKA and received TKA’s High School Ambassador Award.  He participated in and received awards at the United States National Chemistry Olympiad, the Science Olympiad, the Tennessee Mathematics Teachers Association Math Competition, and UTK’s Engineering Day.  He also earned silver on the National Spanish exam.

Nathaniel served as an officer in the Student Government Association for four years, serving as Executive Council President his senior year.  He is a member of TKA’s National Honors Society, serving as vice-president his junior year and as president his senior year.  Nathaniel recently helped represent TKA at the National Honor Society Leadership Conference in Washington D.C.

In addition to these pursuits, Nathaniel played on TKA’s varsity basketball team for three years.  He also enjoyed a year on the bowling team, the cross-country team, and as a founding member of the Smash Bros Club. Appreciating the arts as well, Nathaniel played tenor saxophone in the Honors Orchestra and Pep Band for four years.  The Mountain Press recognized Nathaniel in both 2018 and 2020 as a “CAREacter” Star Athlete for his commitment to excellence both on and off the court.

Nathaniel demonstrates servant leadership in his community and in his church, First Baptist Church Sevierville.  He is a 2018 graduate of Smoky Mountain Youth Leadership through which he participated in the Gatlinburg Wildfire Recovery rebuild. He also served as TKA’s 2019 delegate to the American Legion Boys State.  In recognition for his commitment to service, Nathaniel received the ASCI Distinguished Citizen Award (2019) as well as the DAR Good Citizen Award (2020).

Nathaniel has a heart for others which has grown even more his senior year as he served as an assistant in TKA’s International Students Bible Class. His recent TKA mission trip to Guatemala has further opened his heart to missions and service to others—both at home and abroad.

Nathaniel’s favorite Bible verse is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.  Nathaniel Hall will continue his education at Carson-Newman University where he will study physics, math, and Spanish.

Salutatorian

Leonardo Nguyen has attended The King’s Academy for twelve years. He is an accomplished young man both in and out of the classroom.

Since his sophomore year, he has been a member of the National Honor Society, serving as Treasurer his junior year. He has participated in both the Scholars’ Bowl and the Debate teams all four years of high school. His senior year, he served as Scholars’ Bowl Team Captain and Debate Team Mentor/Assistant Team Captain. Leonardo also won three medals as a member of the Science Olympiad Team. He was a member of the Journalism Club, serving as a member of the School Newspaper Committee last year.

Leonardo’s dedication to academics has resulted in numerous awards. He scored highly on the National Spanish Exam throughout his high school career, attaining Gold all three years. He has placed in several academic competitions including a Top Ten finish in Geometry in the ACSI Math League for the Southeast Region and First Place at the Roane State Academic Festival’s Comprehensive Chemistry Exam last year. He also reached the national level for East Tennessee Section in the American Chemical Society’s Chemistry Olympiad competition his junior year.

Leonardo is respected by his peers, classmates, and instructors. He was elected as Class Secretary both his junior and senior years.  Leonardo was the recipient of the TKA Ambassador Award his junior year. He was also elected to the Homecoming court for three of his four years of high school and was voted Homecoming King his senior year.

In addition to his academic endeavors, Leonardo ran on the cross-country team all four years of high school. He also played varsity soccer his sophomore and junior years before transitioning to the tennis team his senior year.  Ever the well-rounded student, Leonardo excelled in choir and was selected for the All-East Tennessee Chorus his sophomore year.

Leonardo has been recognized for his accomplishments outside TKA as well. He was a 2019 recipient of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award. He was selected to attend the 2019 Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s Youth Leadership as a 2019 HSF Scholar. He received the Congress of Future Medical Leaders Award of Excellence last year. Leonardo served as a research intern last summer in two labs at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he cultivated his interest in Cellular Biophysics and Molecular Biology.

Leonardo is a servant leader, logging nearly 300 hours of community service over the course of his high school years. He served over 120 of these hours during his summer breaks volunteering at three local hospitals. He also served as a Peer Tutor at TKA, assisting other students in math, science, and Spanish. Leonardo is an active member of Sacred Heart Cathedral Church, where he has also served as an usher.

After high school, Leonardo plans to attend Boston College to major in neuroscience on a pre-medicine track, with a double minor in French and Medical Humanities.

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