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Valedictorian Grant Neubauer

Grant Neubauer is one of South Whidbey High School
Grant Neubauer is one of South Whidbey High School's six valedictorians in the Class of 2009.
— image credit: Brian Kelly / The Record

Grant Neubauer

Only a few, and always the very best, artists get to play at Lincoln Center in New York City. So it was for jazz pianist Grant Neubauer during the jazz band’s sojourn there last year.

“It was a wild moment,” he recalled. “I had a ton of butterflies, but they were the good kind.”

Neubauer will travel across the country and enroll in Dartmouth College in the fall. He has no specific course outline yet, and has until the end of his sophomore year to declare a major.

“I can alter my schedule to fit areas of interest, the key to a liberal arts education,” he said.

“Dartmouth has a strong focus on the undergrad and they own their own ski resort.”

He, too, has a course assignment, but he’s ahead of his friend Ian.

“The book is ‘Mountains Beyond Mountains,’ by Tracy Kidder, about the quest of Dr. Paul Farmer and Jim Yong Kim, who is the newly-elected Dartmouth president,” Neubauer said. “I read it the week before the school said I was accepted.”

Neubauer said South Whidbey was a great place to go to school.

“Though small, the richness and quality of the teachers, coupled with the attitude and mindset of the students made it special,” he said. “The support of Mr. Harshman, my bandmates and the community all played their roles.”

He added that he’ll especially miss the island when the New England temperature hits negative 30 degrees.

“Grant is smart, sensitive, caring, funny and committed,” history teacher Tom Kramer said. “He has a depth of personality, empathy and intelligence that is unusual in one his age.”

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