Minjoo Son of Platteville is one of 10 Wisconsin high school students who have been named semifinalists for the 2013 Presidential Scholars award, the nation’s highest honor for graduating high school seniors.
“Students who are chosen as semifinalists for the Presidential Scholars program must demonstrate their academic and artistic achievement as well as leadership in their schools and communities,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers. “Through dedication to their studies and with the support of their parents and teachers, these students have excelled academically and prepared themselves for next steps after high school graduation: college and career.”
The Presidential Scholars program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of our nation’s most distinguished high school students. The state’s 10 semifinalists are among approximately 550 semifinalists for the 2013 Presidential Scholars program.
The other semifinalists are Katelyn M. Baier of Hudson Senior High School, Brady G. Becker of Wausau East High School, Redat Davison of Pius XI High School in Milwaukee, Caitlin M. Geary of Homestead High School in Mequon, David G. Holzer of Hartford Union High School, Amy H. Hua of Fitchburg and West High School in Madison, Matthew J. Porter of Rio High School Anne M. Ringwalt of Racine and Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Mich., and Karlyn C. Russell of Monona Grove High School in Monona.
Approximately 3,900 students out of nearly 3.2 million graduating high school seniors were identified as candidates for the program based on exceptional performance on the ACT or SAT college admissions tests. About 60 students, including Davison and Ringwalt, were identified through their participation in the YoungARTS program, sponsored by the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts.
Candidates were invited to complete application materials that include essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports, and transcripts. An independent, national committee of educators convened by the Commission on Presidential Scholars reviewed application materials to select semifinalists.
The Commission on Presidential Scholars will make the final selection of the nation’s 121 academic Presidential Scholars — one male and one female from each state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and from families of U.S. citizens living abroad; and up to 15 students chosen at large. The Presidential Scholars Commission also chooses up to 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts for a total of up to 141 Presidential Scholars.
Students chosen as Presidential Scholars will travel to Washington, D.C., where they will meet with government officials, educators, authors, musicians, and scientists. They also will receive a Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House. Scholars are asked to identify one teacher who was most influential in their education. The teacher also will be invited to the nation’s capital for National Recognition Week and will receive the Presidential Scholars program Teacher Recognition Award.
“Presidential Scholar Semifinalists represent the greatness and talent of our youth,” said Evers. “They are among the many fine students who will be graduating from our high schools this spring.”