Vermont Agency of Education awards Presidential Scholar nominees

TOWNSHEND, Vt. – The Vermont Agency of Education recognized the state’s 2019 Presidential Scholar nominees in a ceremony at the Vermont Statehouse.

The Vermont Presidential Scholars Program recognizes graduating high school seniors who show outstanding scholarship, leadership, and service to their communities. Twenty scholars are nominated in the general category, and five scholars are nominated in the Career Technical Education category. For the first time this year, Vermont will award five scholars in the Arts.

Vermont scholars for the general and CTE categories will be invited to apply to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, which will announce its winners in May 2019. Additional Vermont students may be chosen to apply by the U.S. Department of Education based on ACT and SAT scores. Each year, up to 161 students are named as national Presidential Scholars – one of the highest honors for high school students. During this pilot year, the Vermont student artists will not automatically be sent on the national pool through YoungArts. Arts scholars will have the opportunity to participate in the national Presidential Scholars program beginning in 2020.

“Vermont’s presidential nominees exemplify the strengths of Vermont’s education system, one of the best in the nation,” said Secretary of Education Dan French. “Our students have excelled in science, math, history and the arts, and a diverse range of CTE programs. I am very proud of their excellence and hard work and I wish them the best as they represent our state at the national level for this award.”

Locally, Fairen Stark, a student of Leland & Gray Union High School, was nominated as a general Presidential Scholar as well as an Arts Presidential Scholar. Congratulations to Fairen Stark as well as the other nominees from across the state.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the president, to recognize and honor some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

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