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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Mead grad’s packed schedule included rigorous academics, sports and volunteerism

Nolin Kavon is heading to Gonzaga University after graduating from Mead High School  (Courtesy )
By Tommy Conmy For The Spokesman-Review

When Nolin Kavon began his freshman year at Mead High School, his parents simply encouraged him to try new things.

Four years later, the standout senior has done just that.

Kavon boasts a 4.0 grade-point average despite taking a heavy course load. He enjoys challenging himself in the classroom and has continued to do so throughout his high school career.

Freshman year, Kavon enrolled in the biomedical science program with the goal of preparing for a career in the medical field. As a sophomore, Kavon was accepted into the honors Humanity program while taking advanced math classes typically reserved for juniors or seniors.

“He just didn’t leave himself any wiggle room for just fun classes,” Kavon’s school counselor Adam Strate said. “It’s culminated in a schedule and an academic resume that is pretty much the most rigorous that we offer.”

The pandemic halted classes for Mead in the spring of 2020, but the school devised a hybrid learning option to try and get kids back into the classroom in the fall.

Kavon was faced with a difficult decision as many of his classmates pined to go back and regain some sense of normalcy while the pandemic persisted. Ultimately, he made the decision to attend school remotely to try and protect a family friend in remission from leukemia.

Kavon not only chose to learn remotely because of a family friend, but because of a realization that the pandemic was an issue that impacted far more people than just himself, according to his mom Kristen Kavon. Despite taking the third year of the biomedical science program and AP Chemistry completely over Zoom, he thrived.

Kavon chose to use the spare time afforded by the pandemic to rethink his priorities and branch out in new directions. A former baseball player, Kavon didn’t love the sport and pivoted in an entirely new direction by taking up tennis.

“His favorite activity is the one he’s doing right now,” said Kristen Kavon with a laugh.

Kavon has excelled on the rubber court, going undefeated in Greater Spokane League play in his first two seasons. He was named to the GSL All-League Tennis second team as a junior while participating primarily in the No. 1 or No. 2 doubles spot.

He’s also volunteered for multiple groups, including the Mead Serves Community Service Club since his freshman year, Blessings Under the Bridge and Second Harvest food bank.

Additionally, Kavon is one of 29 Spokane area high school students on the Ronald McDonald House Charity Inland Northwest Teen Board. The students serve as ambassadors within their schools and communities in addition to filling critical volunteering roles at fundraising events while putting on the annual Flamingo Flocking fundraiser, according to the Ronald McDonald House Charity website.

Strate saw firsthand the exploits of Kavon and his younger brother after pulling into his driveway after a late night sporting event. Kavon was “flocking” Strate’s yard with fake pink flamingoes to encourage donations to the Ronald McDonald House before moving onto other yards.

When Kavon wraps up each of his extracurricular activities, he’ll head slightly south to Gonzaga University where he plans to major in either human physiology or biology. The major choice is fitting considering his senior capstone project on how different eye colors perceive light.

On a recent campus tour with his parents, Kavon gawked at all the club options Gonzaga had to offer. Ever so gently, his parents reminded him he couldn’t join all of them.

“I wish we could take all the credit, but he’s surrounded himself with so many good people,” Kristen Kavon said.

“He doesn’t do (volunteering) just to commit to those hours, he does it because it means something to him,” Strate said. “I think the sense of empathy that this young man possesses is something that really sets him apart.”