Kevin Pszczola

Peninsula High School senior is a hard-working scholar with high standards, aims for career with NASA

April 16, 2014 

Kevin Pszczola has challenged himself with difficult classes throughout high school, and he’s received many academic accolades. His resume includes the Boy Scouts of America — he’s working on his Eagle Scout award — and several clubs, including Knowledge Bowl and Model United Nations.

While he attended Key Peninsula Middle School, Pszczola was inspired to pursue an interest in science and engineering. He was selected to go to NASA’s Ames Research Center as part of the school’s NASA Explorer program. In high school, he continued on that track, and he participated in the Washington Aerospace Scholar program at the Museum of Flight.

Pszczola has maintained a 3.83 GPA while he took 11 Advanced Placement and honors classes. He counts getting scores of 4 and 5 on all but one of the AP tests as his highest academic achievement, although he said his score of 3 in AP chemistry was a high point because it was his most challenging class.

Pszczola credits his grades to having good teachers.

“They’ve explained (concepts) in a way I could really grasp,” he said, adding he especially enjoyed taking the AP classes despite the challenging environment.

“Kevin is a good problem-solver ... His knowledge of current events, history, science, art and literature is astounding,” said Leland Smith, a career and technical instructor at Peninsula High School. “And he has a knack for connecting events in the bigger world with those in the smaller world around him. He inspires creativity.”

Pszczola has demonstrated that through his participation in the Knowledge Bowl program, for which he placed eighth in the state. His team took first and second at state competitions and qualified to compete in the national Quiz Bowl tournament in Washington, D.C.

A Boy Scout since he was in sixth grade, Pszczola has been a part of many activities with Troop 220.

“I’ve really enjoyed the experiences it offers, and I like the adventure and the outdoor experience,” he said.

As part of his Eagle Scout project, he worked to install a radio system at the Key Peninsula Civic Center so the facility could be certified as a Red Cross emergency shelter.

“His work exceeds any set standard because he’s the kind of guy who works to his own high standards,” Smith said. “Whether working with people or technology, I’ve found Kevin to be unafraid of new challenges and risks. ... He makes things look easy, and he generally has fun doing it.”

Pszczola plans to pursue an engineering career. He’s especially interested in aerospace.

“I like building things and learning how they work,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to work on machines.”

Kevin Pszczola

Category: Science and technology

Education: Senior, Peninsula High School

GPA: 3.83

Parents: Glen Pszczola and Mary O’Boyle

Activities/achievements: AP Scholar with Distinction; Quiz Bowl national qualifier; Knowledge Bowl; National Merit Scholar commendation; National Honor Society; Boy Scouts; Washington Aerospace Scholar.

Favorite teacher: Peter Pratz, because “he is able to make mathematics fun and interesting and will work with students to help them understand concepts.”

Best thing about high school: “PHS is extremely open and accepting, will support you regardless of your choices.”

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