MALDEN – On a brisk mid-November evening last fall, Malden High School senior Harrison Zeiberg literally had to be in two places at one time, for entirely disparate reasons.
On one side of town, at the Malden Moose Hall, Zeiberg was receiving a major award and scholarship at the Malden Tornado Hall of Fame dinner for his winning essay on a coach who had inspired him on the baseball diamond.
About three miles away at Malden High, the versatile actor was in a topical school play with themes of race, love, gentrification and lost redemption called Once on This Island.
Adding to the degree of difficulty, Zeiberg, who received a $1,000 scholarship for penning the winning words, had to read the essay before the packed house at the dinner.
He pulled it off. The Malden student read his essay, jumped in his car, did a “Superman” change of clothes and was on stage for the opening act.
He even made it back to the dinner to rejoin his family for the rest of the awards dinner.
Zeiberg, a young man of many talents, added another major honor to his accomplishments last week when he was attained the rank of Eagle Scout and was honored at the Eagle Court of Honor at First Baptist Church in Malden by Boy Scout Troop #603.
Zeiberg and his family have been involved in scouting for as long as he can remember. His brother Sam was a boy scout before him and Zeiberg has been involved since he was a 9-year-old Cub Scout.
“It is something that has been part of our family for some time and I have been proud to participate in scouting,” said Zeiberg.
It is a tall order to get to the top of the ranks as an Eagle Scout. Zeiberg said he has earned 23 merit badges and had to complete a major community service project.
“It has taken a lot of work and a lot of time, but it has all been worth it,” Zeiberg said. “Not many scouts rise to Eagle Scout.”
Zeiberg’s major project was the creation, from scratch, of a Butterfly Garden at O’Connell Park in Malden, a passive recreational park site at the south end of West Street at Medford Street.
An exemplary student in various honors programs at Malden High, Zeiberg did his homework in the form of extensive research on butterflies, their various species and how to construct a garden which would attract them. Included was research on the exact plants and flowers that would be best suited to appeal and attract butterflies and how to obtain and maintain them at the garden.
He went to Malden City Council and Ward 2 City Councilor Paul Condon, individually, for approval.
“Everyone liked the idea and we went right to work on it,” said Zeiberg, who said he and his fellow Troop 603 members spent time nearly every week last summer working on the project. “It was great to see how the troop supported the plan and got it going.”
Zeiberg combined scientific research with community service and has been involved in a number of varied pursuits in his previous three years at Malden High School. In addition to being involved in musical and drama productions, and academic groups, he is on the high school baseball team.
Zeiberg is still waiting for his college acceptances to decide his immediate future, but says it has been a busy road through his high school years. “Some of the activities I have been involved are coming to an end,” Zeiberg said. “But I look forward to the new challenge ahead of me.”