When it comes to being a well-rounded student, Bexley High School senior Simon Horn could very well be the perfect model.
He excels academically, musically and artistically. He's both a leader and a friend, with a strong work ethic besides.
Horn was recently named a 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholar by the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
He is one of only 141 seniors throughout the country chosen for the honor by demonstrating outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship and service.
Horn was surprised when he heard he had been chosen as a scholar earlier this month, during a week filled with grueling Advanced Placement testing.
"I was taken aback and very humbled," Horn said. "It was definitely a very exciting moment."
Even though his mother, Victoria Powers, had the news in hand, she had to wait until the end of the day, after Horn's testing was completed, in order to tell him. The news may have taken him by surprise, but according to one of Horn's mentors, Bexley High School history teacher Michael Featherstone, the award was a no-brainer.
"His dedication and passion to seemingly everything is truly inspiring," Featherstone said. "Because he is so talented in so many different areas, it can cause scheduling problems.
"Other students have to make compromises, but Simon just finds a way to make it work. In my nine years teaching, I have never had a better student than Simon.
"Aside from his tremendous ability and his accomplishments, he is also an extremely kind and mature person."
Featherstone was named a Distinguished Teacher as part of the U.S. Presidential Scholars program, chosen by Horn himself because of Featherstone's outstanding influence.
Horn is taking his recognition in stride as he wraps up another busy year and gets ready to head off to Yale in the fall.
Horn's academic achievements do not stop with the Presidential Scholar award. He also earned a perfect score on both his ACT and SAT exams. He's been playing the piano since he was a preschooler, and the cello since fourth grade.
He stars in high school musicals, sings in the choir, runs cross country and serves on student council and in the National Honor Society.
He also volunteers locally, including plenty of work in politics -- an interest, but not a career, he said.
Horn has traveled outside of the country with the Children's International Summer Villages, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to create opportunities for cultural diversity through educational programs and experiences. He visited Norway with CISV when he was 11 years old, and Germany when he was 13.
He has also served as a counselor for the group in the United States, and volunteered when the program came to Bexley last year and in 2010.
"I have broad interests," he said. But when asked to name his favorite, he hesitates.
"I enjoy all of the things I do. It's a time commitment, but it's something I enjoy," he said.
Horn will travel to Washington, D.C., June 22 to accept the Presidential Scholar honor. There, he will be presented with the Presidential Scholar Medallion on behalf of the White House.
More than 3,900 candidates qualified for the award.