Von Thun becomes 5th at Coronado to win Boettcher award... and 2nd in his family

       A“Like father, like son” is an old adage - sometimes meaning good, sometimes bad.
       In Scott Von Thun's case, it's good.

Scott Von Thun

       As in real good.
       When his father Matt was attending Lakewood High School, he was honored as one of the state's 40 annual recipients of the Boettcher Award, which makes available a full-ride scholarship to a Colorado university.
       Now it's Scott's turn, The Coronado senior recently found out that he too has been selected for probably the most prestigious award in Colorado.
       It was something he'd been thinking about throughout high school. “The seed had been planted,” he commented. Winning it, he said, “is pretty cool.”
       Beforehand, though, he wasn't sure if he was good enough. He just thought he might be “in the running,”
       He was dead on to respect the award's high standards. In Coronado's 40 years, he is only the fifth Boettcher winner from the school. “That shows how prestigious it is,” said Coronado Principal David Engstrom, adding that the school is “incredibly proud of him.”
       According to the Boettcher Foundation website, consideration for scholar selections includes such attributes as a grade-point average in the top 5 percent of their class,“ an intense intellectual curiosity and a passion for involvement [and] a strong potential for leadership and service.”
       Here are some of Scott Von Thun's achievements, in keeping with the Boettcher theme.
  • He has earned straight A's throughout high school, with nearly all his classes in the challenging “honors” category. His GPA is currently 4.857.
  • He has been a leader in the school robotics program, including helping start it three years ago.
  • He has played trumpet in the school band, gaining All-State recognition.
  • He has been a member of the school cross-country team, Science Bowl, Knowledge Bowl and National Honor Society and has volunteered at his church.
           Winners aren't told what qualities led to their being chosen, but Von Thun related that at a personal interview (the final step in the Boettcher process, after 72 finalists had been chosen) he said that his extensive effort with robotics “made me a better leader and member of my community.”
           There's only one catch, however. The Boettcher Award is specifically intended to stimulate Colorado students into staying in Colorado for college, thus adding to the possibilities that they will never leave and the state will be more likely to gain from their abilities.
           The catch is that Scott isn't positive he wants to stay in Colorado. A California university, Cal Tech, is beckoning to him also. He sees it as a high-level school in which he could move forward in his main interest: mechanical engineering.
           Colorado schools he's still considering are Colorado School of Mines and CU-Boulder.
           He said he'd like a school with a mechanical engineering major to help him move into his probable career fields of either robotics or spacecraft.

    Westside Pioneer article