The Pine Cone's fourth story of the week

Previous Home Next

Carmel High senior may be presidential scholar

- Nifty rebounding and perfect SATs


Published: February 26, 2010

IN ITS drive to the CCCS playoffs this year, the Carmel High School basketball team’s captain has been 6-foot-3-inch senior Will Meyer.

But during the team’s highly successful season, it’s unlikely his teammates — or even many of his teachers and friends — know that Meyer has also assembled what could be the most successful academic record in the country — a record that has even attracted the attention of the White House.

According to school officials, throughout his years at Tularcitos School, Carmel Middle School and Carmel High School, Meyer has achieved an unblemished record of straight A’s. And since the 9th grade, he has also earned perfect scores on the PSAT (80-80-80), the ACT (36-36-36, plus a perfect 10 for writing) and the SAT (800-800-800), not to mention perfect 5s on five Advanced Placement tests.

And he also gave his school a boost, earning a perfect score on the STAR test used to measure public school performance in California.

“It’s a very rare event for any student to do as well,” said Marvin Biasotti, superintendent of the Carmel Unified School District. “He’s had a total of 15 perfect scores.”

“He’s a complete package,” said CHS science teacher Michael Guardino, who has taught Meyer in honors physics and AP chemistry. “And the highest praise I can give for Will is that I don’t think I’ve ever seen him submit any work in which he didn’t do his ultimate best.”

“He’s a self-motivated player, a great teammate and is very easy to coach,” said Ryan Sanchez, who’s in his sixth year as varsity basketball coach at Carmel High. “Basketball is a dynamic and very complicated sport, and obviously he’s one of the ones who can really master it. But he’s also a pleasure to have around.”

Every year, the White House names 141 top students from around the country as Presidential Scholars. Nominees are selected from high school seniors with outstanding scores on the SAT and ACT — so it was no surprise that Meyer was nominated. Only 297 students nationwide achieved a 2,400 SAT score this year. Nobody knows how many kids have combined that with perfect scores on the ACT.

“I think there are probably more high school kids who have Olympic gold medals than perfect scores on all the tests,” said Meyer’s father, John. The family has lived in Carmel Valley for 25 years.

Of course, John Meyer and his wife, Avril, noticed very early on that Will seemed to have exceptional intelligence.

“When he was two years old, he could read out loud, and with expression,” John Meyer recalled. “It was fun to listen to, because he was really getting into the stories.”

Will’s older sister, Michelle, who recently graduated from Stanford and is on her way to medical school, is also exceptionally bright.

“We were just lucky,” their father said.

But he and his wife are no slouches, either. John Meyer is a former software engineer with an MBA from Harvard and an undergrad degree from Stanford. That’s where Avril Meyer attended college, as well.

Needless to say, it’s where Will is headed next year, too. He applied to Stanford’s early admission program, and when word came Dec. 1 that he was accepted, he didn’t even complete his other college applications.

The next Ring Lardner?

Will Meyer is not only a great student and a three-sport athlete, he’s a gifted writer, his friends and family say. And his career goal?

“I think I want to be a sportswriter,” Will Meyer told The Pine Cone. But he said he would wait until he finished his freshman year of college to make up his mind.

The letter from the White House that came a few weeks ago “was a complete surprise,” he added. “I had never heard of the program.”

If he is selected as a Presidential Scholar in April, he’ll get an all-expense-paid trip to Washington and a meeting either with President Barack Obama or Vice President Joe Biden.

But he is modest about his intellectual talents and his success in school.

“Obviously, people are born with different levels of ability,” he said. “I was fortunate because I grew up in a household where I was constantly given educational opportunities.”

“It’s also interesting to note that Will is strictly a product of the public school system,” John Meyer said. “He’s had some fantastic teachers.”

Will Meyer agreed, and especially thanked Guardino for challenging him and making science interesting.

And he also thanked his freshman English teacher, Michael Palshaw.

“I thought high school was going to be so difficult, it would be totally unmanageable,” he recalled about making the transition out of middle school. “But Mr. Palshaw showed me how to handle it.”