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SWHS seniors are top students
South Whidbey High School counselor Lynne Hossfeld describes seniors Emiko Hastings and Christopher Long as "the creme de la creme."
Both students, recognized for their academic success, are National Merit Scholar finalists and are candidates for the Washington Scholars program.
"They have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, leadership ability, and community service. We are so proud of Emiko and Chris," Hossfeld said. "They are really great students, and wonderful people."
The Washington Scholars program selects high school seniors from each of the 49 legislative districts in the state. Those selected are offered scholarships for undergraduate course work at public or independent colleges and universities in Washington and are recognized by the governor and Legislature on Washington Scholars Day this spring.
If selected as National Merit Scholars, they will be eligible to share scholarship money with 8,000 other finalists.
Both students say strong family relationships and parental encouragement as part of their recipe for success. Both have attended South Whidbey schools since grade school.
Chris Long was born in Long Beach, Calif., and moved to Whidbey in fourth grade, where he was homeschooled. He attended Langley Middle School, where he skipped seventh grade.
"My parents are very supportive and we have a close-knit extended family," Long said.
He is captain on the football and wrestling teams, attended the American Legion's Evergreen Boys State, participated in Mount Washington Leadership Camp with other ASB officers, and is treasurer of the Associated Student Body.
He is an Eagle Scout, teaches Spanish to fifth-graders, is involved in Bible study with Young Life, is a volunteer for Hearts and Hammers and is a Relay for Life captain.
Long is undecided about which university he will attend, but is considering the University of Washington, Stanford, or West Point.
Hastings is equally involved in extracurricular activities and says her parents have always encouraged her to develop many interests.
"They are believers in lifelong learning," she said.
She lived in the Seattle area, where she attended a Northwest Montessori school, before moving to Whidbey Island, where she was in third grade at South Whidbey Intermediate School.
Hastings is an accomplished flutist, and recently was named to an all-state orchestra. She won the Seattle Symphony's gold medal award and has been first chair flutist at the high school for two and-a-half years. She was selected to perform with the Seattle Symphony in 2002, is co-captain of the Hi-Q team, a tutor and a three-year participant in Science Olympiad, where she earned a regional second place.
After school she volunteers at the Freeland Library and with Hearts and Hammers. In addition, she is a member of the cross country team has a part-time job at Moonraker bookstore.
She has been accepted at Whitman College, Walla Walla, and plans to major in history and minor in Japanese.