Jamestown High School senior Zachary Eklum has been named to Business First's 2013 All-Western New York Academic Team - First Team.
Eklum qualified for this year's list of the 100 most outstanding high school seniors and was named to the First Team, which consists of the 25 seniors who are judged to have the strongest records of academic excellence, school leadership and community involvement within the eight-county region in a given year.
The top 25 were named to the First Team, 25 runners-up to the Second Team, and another 50 to the Special Mention list.
"This is an extremely exclusive award," said Jack Connors, president and publisher of Business First. "There are roughly 20,000 seniors in Western New York's high schools, and we've selected only 100 for this year's Academic Team. That's the upper one-half of one percent. They're truly the best and brightest students anywhere in our region."
Schools throughout the eight-county area were asked to nominate their smartest and most accomplished students for consideration by an eight-member committee, which included six admissions directors at area colleges and two Business First editors. A total of 121 schools responded with 437 nominees. (Each school was limited to four candidates.)
"Zach is an outstanding scholar/athlete and a wonderful human being," said JHS Principal Mike McElrath. "I look forward to watching his influence grow as he concludes his high school career and enters the next step in his life. We are very pleased to see him recognized as one of the top students in Western New York."
Zachary has been an exemplary student at JHS. He is currently ranked No. 1 in his class. He has taken 11 Advanced Placement courses in his junior and senior years and named an AP Scholar with Distinction.
He was named to the JHS National Honor Society, Jamestown Community College Part-Time Student Dean's List and received the American Legion Boys State Delegation, Harry E. Kline Excellence in Chemistry Award, University of Rochester Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award and nominated to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine.
His activities while at JHS include: class co-president 2009 to 2013, Key Club 2009-2012 (vice president 2012, president 2013) and JHS Environmental Club 2012-13 (secretary).
His athletic accomplishments are numerous: JHS varsity wrestling (captain 2012-13), JHS varsity tennis and JHS varsity football. Zachary has received numerous awards and honors including: Section 6 NYS Public High School Athletic Association Scholar Athlete All WNY Football Team, WIVB NY Scholar Athlete, WGRZ Unsung Player of the Week, Scholar Athlete Award in Tennis for 2010-2012, Wrestling Section 6 Qualifier 2012 & 2013, Fessenden Laumer & D'Angelo Scholar Athlete and JHS All-School Scholar Athlete.
Zachary has also dedicated over 100 volunteer hours to community service projects including Wounded American Soldier Benefit for Johnny Stanz, St. John Italian Festival, the American Diabetes Association, the National Heart Association, the Blind Association, Read Across America and Hand On Jamestown.
The complete list of 100 honorees - along with their photos and profiles will be published in Business First's 2013-2014 Guide to Western New York Schools, which will hit newsstands on June 14.