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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Freeman will miss Greg Salisbury

Freeman High School Spanish teacher Janet Newton is losing her most passionate student. Counselor Laura Hamma will be down one model student.

Tennis coach Pia Longinotti will have to replace her No. 1 player and secretary. Raelyn Davis will need to recruit a new mail distributor.

Yes, senior Greg Salisbury will be missed at his cozy high school in the country next fall when he’s off being a freshman at New York University.

“He sorts the mail every day,” said Davis, beaming as if Salisbury were her own child. “I make him do it, and if I don’t see him, I send someone to get him. He’s that responsible.”

Add smart, driven, creative, friendly and any other glowing epithet when describing Salisbury. He also falls into the category of modest, at least, to secretary Kay Kirkland.

“We had no idea how much he had accomplished outside of school.” Kirkland said. “It was such a revelation to us, when he got into New York University, to see how amazing he is.”

For his opening act, Salisbury wrote a musical. He said he submitted it to the Spokane Civic Theatre, but it wasn’t produced.

He’s also a member of the National Honor Society, was president and treasurer of the Future Business Leaders of America and organized an Amnesty International chapter.

As a tennis player, he made it as far as the district finals. And then there were classes. Salisbury never stopped at the introductory levels.

“I took every class offered,” he said. “All the science classes, all the math, all the English. Everything.”

When he was finished with two years of Spanish, Salisbury requested a third year, and a small class was arranged. When he tapped out all the English classes, he enrolled in creative writing at Eastern Washington University.

The awards came, too.

Salisbury was named academic student of the year and earned individual recognition as academic student in English, foreign studies and science. He also was given scholarship money.

“He’s a fabulous young man,” Hamma said. “I really enjoy him. He’s one in a million.”

So what does Salisbury want to do with his life after high school? He said he’d like to become a documentary filmmaker.

He’ll begin his training at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, studying scriptwriting, production, direction and anything else that interests him at the prestigious school.

Salisbury, son of an accountant and a substitute teacher, made his first trip to New York last spring, when his family went on a trip to explore colleges. Salisbury said he was interested in studying film, advertising or public relations and narrowed his list to 12 schools.

He was accepted into Syracuse University, Emerson College, Chapman University and NYU.

After 18 years in a small town and 13 sharing classrooms with the same kids, Salisbury said it didn’t take much to sell him on New York City and the school.

“I like the space here,” Salisbury said. “But I’ve always had this feeling I need to go to a city. I enjoy the whole bustle of the city.”

Salisbury, who is looking for a summer job, said his metropolitan life will begin in August. He doesn’t see himself living in Freeman again, but he won’t stay away for too long.

“Of course, there’ll always be visits,” he said. “Otherwise my mother would be devastated.”

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