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Elliot’s top student Nathan Buhrkuhl will enter Pacific’s pharmaceutical program

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Posted: Sunday, May 26, 2013 12:00 am

Grades have never been an issue for Nathan Buhrkuhl. But after being homeschooled through the seventh grade, adjusting to life in high school was a bit of a challenge.

However, you’d never know it.

Buhrkuhl is graduating at the head of his senior class with a 4.25 GPA and stood upon the stage Saturday as the school’s top student.

This summer, Buhrkuhl will head to Oregon to work at a bible camp. When he gets back, he will work to save money before entering University of the Pacific’s five-year accelerated pharmaceutical program, which he has already been accepted into.

In high school, math has been his favorite subject.

“I enjoy thinking through problems like that,” he said.

Though he enjoys the sciences, as well, one of his favorite Jim Elliot classes was history, taught by his favorite teacher, Mr. Buckmiller because he made easy-to-understand lessons and because he was a good role model.

“I respect him tremendously,” Buhrkuhl said.

Jim Elliot kept Buhrkuhl busy outside of the classroom, too. He was involved with Interact Club — a community service group, 7 a.m. Thursday bible studies and sports.

During his freshman year, he tried out cross country running. He decided he liked basketball better, and played all four years.

At 6-foot-6, it’s hard for Buhrkuhl to fly under the radar, but that’s how he would like it.

“I tend to be a shyer guy,” he said.

Buhrkuhl’s father, Tim Buhrkuhl, calls Nathan his “gentle giant” because of his large stature and gentle spirit.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” he said. “He works hard and he’s very diligent.”

Tim Buhrkuhl says he remembers an interesting conversation a several years back. They were talking about Buhrkuhl’s straight A grades, and Buhrkuhl — then, a sophomore — asked: “If I keep this up, do I have to talk at my graduation?”

Unfortunately for his shy side, he made it all the way to the top.

Contact Lodi Living Editor Lauren Nelson at laurenn@lodinews.com.

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