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KS Hawai‘i senior recognized among top 5 percent of students nationwide

Lily Ayau (center) with KSH po‘o kula Dr. Holoua Stender, mom Judi Ayau, senior counselor Malcolm Helm and KSH High School po‘o kumu Lehua Veincent.

Ayau received a Letter of Commendation from KS Hawaii and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i campus principal Kumu Lehua Veincent has announced that senior Lily P. Ayau has been named a Commended Student in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, was presented to this scholastically talented student from Hilo.

“On behalf of the student body and faculty and staff of Kamehameha Schools Hawai'i, we send our deepest aloha to Lily and her ‘ohana as a Commended Student in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program,” said Veincent. “This honor will open the portals of academic opportunities for Lily in her pursuit within the post-secondary arena.  Nui ko makou ha‘aheo ia ‘oe e Lily.  E ho‘omau ‘oe a pae i ke one o ka lanakila!  We are very proud of you, Lily.  Continue to persevere until you arrive upon your shores of victory.”

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2015 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2015 competition by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).

“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

Ayau is a 13-year student of the KS Hawai‘i campus. Born and raised in Hilo, Ayau is looking to study history on the East Coast, and is currently looking at Amherst, Dartmouth and Columbia as possible next destinations.

“I'm incredibly honored to represent Kamehameha Schools in receiving this commendation,” shares Ayau. “KSH has always served as a home for me, and the teachers there helped to foster a sense of curiosity within me that without which I could not have achieved this distinction. I'm so humbled by the hard work of the faculty and staff in their dedication to students' learning. It's thanks to them that I am who I am today.” 

Lily is the daughter of Gregory and Judi Ayau.


Kamehameha Schools is a private, educational, charitable trust founded and endowed by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Kamehameha Schools operates a statewide educational system enrolling over 6,900 students of Native Hawaiian ancestry at K-12 campuses on O`ahu, Maui and Hawai`i and 30 preschools statewide. Over 40,400 additional learners and caregivers are served each year through a range of other Kamehameha Schools outreach programs, community collaborations and financial aid opportunities in Hawai`i and across the continental United States. Income generated from its endowment portfolio of Hawai`i real estate and other investments funds the Schools’ educational mission. More information can be found at



Media Contact: Shaun Chillingworth, 808-541-5367 or