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On Tuesday, Oct. 27, University High School was able to do something it had waited five long months to do.

In the spring, the University High School faculty voted on several key awards that it annually presents to graduating seniors. Because we were in e-learning at the time, those awards were presented virtually. One award, however, was reserved for a junior, so the school decided to wait and present that award (though its recipient had already been chosen) until this fall.

Last week, 2020 graduate Ella Eskenazi and Dean of Students Jake Thurman presented the Paul & Edith Schmidt Award to now-senior Keegan Priest.

The award annually goes to a junior who demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to community service. It was initiated by founding Board member Jeff Lewis and is named after his wife’s parents.

In his presentation of the award to Priest, Mr. Thurman said the following: “Keegan has worked tirelessly during his time at University High School to make the most of his four years here, for himself and for the school community as a whole. His work in school has impacted us all with things like Fall Fest, Uchella, Movie Club, Album Club, The U Post, morning meetings, and countless other projects. What sets Keegan apart, however, — and what this award seeks to honor — is that the generosity of spirit shown here and the determination he’s shown to do good doesn’t stop at the borders of our campus.”

Thurman went on to detail Priest’s extracurricular service on his way to the rank of Eagle Scout, his years of summer work as a camp counselor, and his volunteer and fundraising efforts for the nonprofit Arts for Learning.

Congratulations to Keegan Priest, 2020 winner of the Paul & Edith Schmidt Award for his exemplary commitment to service.