With an infectious smile and a confidence that belies his age, Paul Reischmann is someone who brings people together. Perhaps that’s why he’s held so many leadership roles over his 12-year tenure at Shorecrest, most recently as the Vice President of Student Council and Captain of the swim team.
“I really liked being captain of the swim team this year,” says Paul, when asked about what stands out about his Shorecrest experience. “I remember being on the team when I was a little sixth grader. It was a chance to meet older kids and now as a senior, getting to be the leader for the other swimmers is a great opportunity.”
An outstanding student, skilled musician and strong athlete, Paul was not always so well-rounded. He recalls, “Up until late in Middle School, I was not athletic at all. I didn’t do any sports. I was very nerdy, focusing only on school. I participated in swimming but it wasn’t really a serious thing. After Freshman year, the swimming coach recommended that I do club swimming as well and I really stepped up - both in effort and the amount of time I spent on training.”
Paul’s investment in his sport has paid off in more ways than the obvious athletic successes. “Having to do athletic physical work as well as academic work definitely changed the way I think about things. I have gained a great deal of respect for athletes after participating in swimming, because those athletes are some of the hardest working individuals and most interesting people I have ever met.”
And Paul isn’t immune to hard work himself. As the Salutatorian of the Class of 2015, and a National Merit Semi-Finalist, Paul has fully immersed himself in the life of the mind. He notes a number of teachers for challenging him in the classroom. “Mr. (Dave) Field’s classes have been some of the hardest but also some of the most productive. His teaching style is such that you might struggle but you never feel it’s unfair. He puts a lot in to it as well. He comes in early every morning to help students who need it and he stays late if he needs to as well.”
Paul also notes English teacher Dr. Emerson Littlefield (aka. Doc) as another teacher who has made an impact. “Doc is intimidating to a lot of people, and he was to me at first for sure, but his class is really easy going because he is totally open to discussion, in fact he encourages it!”
Paul could be considered somewhat of a Renaissance man when one considers the breadth of his interests. As a member of the Global Scholars Initiative, Paul enjoyed an academic track that centered on International Studies; he immersed himself in French language and particularly enjoyed the Shorecrest tradition of hosting French exchange students each spring. Paul says, “I have really liked taking French because I feel it is such an important skill to have a second language. I think that has influenced me a lot in terms of what I want to do. If not a double major, I will at least undertake a French minor in college.
It is the Science department, however, that may ultimately have the most influence on Paul’s career choice. Paul’s experience and success in his science classes, paired with his interest in the environment have inspired him to consider majoring in Chemistry with the long-term goal of working toward environmental sustainability. Paul’s eyes light up when he talks about the need for his generation to protect the environment. “I think it is of paramount importance and it doesn’t get the attention that it should. There is always something more pressing politically that keeps funds from being spent on protecting the environment. But we are getting to the point where we will no longer be able to ignore it. I think I will be part of a generation of people who will be very passionate about the environment and that’s really cool.”
Paul will join the Freshman Class at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, this fall and hopes to eventually pursue a career in Environmental Engineering.