Top-ranked Lindbergh High School student enjoys more than just academics

By Cliff Brunt

Kevin Duniven is ranked first in his class with a 4.9 grade-point average.

He scored a 30 on his ACT, including a perfect 36 on the mathematics section.

He is one of 30 high school seniors to earn St. Louis University’s Presidential Scholarship, which pays tuition, room and board.

But Duniven, an 18-year-old Lindbergh High School senior, is quick to point out that there’s more to him than books.

His best memory at Lindbergh High School is when his band, the Pishivers, played at the district’s Spirit Festival. Duniven is a lifelong drummer who aspires to someday be a front man.

“I’m always in the back — way back,” he said, laughing. “Other than Ringo Starr, nobody pays attention to drummers.”

Duniven wants to learn to play the guitar. He’s learning from Matt Fellin, a senior bandmate who is ranked second in the Lindbergh senior class.

When he’s not banging on the drums, Duniven often plays sports. He lettered in soccer and wrestling this school year.

Besides his academic and extracurricular activities, he still found time to perform 250 hours of community service last summer. His activities ranged from yard cleanup to data entry at a community center.

Duniven will follow his parents, Sandra and James Duniven, to St. Louis University where he will study investigative medical sciences. He wants to earn a health information management certificate so he can learn how to run a hospital.

Eventually, he wants to go to medical school and become a radiologist, examining X-rays and CAT scans.

The world of medical imaging constantly is changing, Duniven said, noting, “It’s getting more advanced. I need new challenges. That’s one of the things I like about the field.”

Through playing high school sports, he learned about the medical field firsthand after injuring an ankle near the end of the soccer season. The injury kept him out of action for about half of this year’s wrestling season.

He went 37-8 and placed sixth at state in the 140-pound weight class as a junior.

This year, he placed second in his district and qualified for sectionals, but his interview for the scholarship was the same day as the sectional wrestling meet.

“It was a tough decision, but it was the right one,” he said. “It paid off.”

Nine-hundred students applied for the Presidential Scholarship, which is awarded to 30 incoming freshmen based on interviews conducted during one weekend in February.

To be invited to compete for the Presidential Scholarship, consideration is given to the top 3 percent of students who have a minimum, cumulative 3.8 grade-point average and score at least a 30 on the ACT or a 1320 on the SAT.

Although the season didn’t end the way he wanted it to, Duniven appreciated his experience as a wrestler.

“Coach (Tom Gose) really taught me a lot about life, lessons about eating and conditioning,” Duniven said. “I learned discipline and to show some will power.”

Through wrestling, Duniven also learned responsibility, something that will serve him well in the medical field.

“You’re out there by yourself,” he said. “You can’t blame anything on anyone else.”