Photo for the Tribune by Chris Salata
April 21, 2011
In the fifth grade, Peter Kallis was so impressed after learning about Albert Einstein's career at Princeton University that he made the Ivy League school his college goal.
Over the next seven years, Kallis earned a nearly perfect academic record his high school GPA is 5.97; his ACT score a 35; his SAT score 2340.
Kallis, 18, will attend Princeton in the fall.
"That sounds like Peter," said Carol Bobo, his guidance counselor at Hinsdale Central High School. "He has the drive and the tenacity to fulfill the dreams that he has."
And he does so with a great sense of humor, rattling off one-liners and making people laugh along the way, Bobo added.
After watching the former NBC program "The West Wing" with his family every week, Kallis was so captivated by the show's legal and political themes that he joined Hinsdale Central's mock trial team. It took the state championship in his sophomore and junior years.
Despite his stellar record, Kallis said his life has never been much different from the lives of his peers. After school or extracurricular activities, he came home, had a snack and did about two hours of homework, he said.
"Really, for me, it was about paying attention a lot in class," he said. "Once I mastered concepts in class, it was easy for me."
On weekends, the Hinsdale teen is involved at his church, Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church in Westchester, where he has served as an altar boy, altar captain and church reader for nearly a decade.
His father is the director of e-commerce for Sears, his mother a stay-at-home mom.
Kallis plans to study law at Princeton, which he hopes will lead to a career as a lawyer, politician, or, if all goes well, a federal judge.
By Vikki Ortiz Healy