Awards keep coming for Land O’ Lakes student

When it comes to accomplishments, Maxwell William Keenan, or Max, for short, has racked up quite a few.

The Land O’ Lakes High senior’s academic credentials are impressive.

He ranks 14th out of 4,632 seniors in Pasco County.

He’s a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist.

Max Keenan has garnered numerous accolades during his academic career, including, most recently ‘Pasco County Schools Most Outstanding Senior.’
(B.C. Manion)

And, he achieved high marks on two leading college admissions tests, scoring a 34 out of a possible 36 on the ACT and a 1,490 out of 1,600 on the SAT.

Beyond all that, he’s had success on the tennis court. He’s involved in community service projects, and he helped launch his school’s Investment Club.

Recently, he added to that list of distinctions by being named Pasco County Schools Outstanding Senior.

The award was bestowed during the Pasco County School Board’s meeting on Dec. 20.

In announcing the award, the presenter quoted comments from Land O’ Lakes High Principal Ric Mellin.

“Like his peers nominated for this award, Maxwell came highly recommended,” according to the principal’s account.

“His accomplishments in academics, athletics, service …are well-documented. However, Maxwell’s natural leadership ability and kindheartedness, sets him apart from other students,” Mellin added.

Keenan has a 4.0, unweighted grade point average, in the rigorous International Baccalaureate Program, and a 4.75 weighted GPA, Mellin said.

Initially, students at Land O’ Lakes High voted on who should represent the school. They narrowed the list to the top 10, and then the teachers voted, Keenan said.

Next, he was interviewed at the school district’s office.

It “is truly an honor” to be chosen for the award, Keenan said.

After graduation, he hopes to attend either Cornell University or the University of Chicago.

Keenan plans to study economics. He’s particularly interested in how economics affects government policies.

He said he hopes to gain a greater understanding of the impact that laws have on the average person.

He’d also like to pursue a law degree and is interested in politics.

Keenan said he’s grateful for the support he’s received from the teachers and administration at Land O’ Lakes High.

His appreciation for school administrators may have been developed at an early age.

His mom, Kimberly Keenan, is a former principal of Tampa Palms Elementary in Hillsborough County, and he used to tutor some of the younger students at the school.

It was a rewarding experience, he said, because he saw the children making progress.

His volunteer work didn’t end there.

Over the years, he’s connected with veterans at the Baldomero Lopez State Veterans Nursing Home, he’s been involved in campus cleanups at Land O’ Lakes High, he’s helped raise money for Red Cross and he’s taken a leadership role in Relay for Life activities.

“Relay for Life is my main community service club. I absolutely love it because I deal with so many people who are directly impacted by cancer, and I get to help them, not only with their struggle with cancer, but hopefully preventing future struggles with cancer.

“A lot of the money raised by Relay for Life is invested in new cancer research,” he explained.

Published January 25, 2017

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