Last month, three Georgia students were named U.S. Presidential Scholars, a coveted recognition for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields. This month, on June 23, each honoree will travel to Washington, DC to attend the 2019 ceremony where they will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion.
The Georgia honorees are William Ellsworth, Marietta—George Walton Comprehensive High School; Vani Senthil, Duluth—Duluth High School; and *Keerti Jessica Soundappan, Kathleen—Houston County High School.
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.
Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,200 candidates qualified for the 2019 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams or through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations, and the National YoungArts Foundation's nationwide YoungArts™ competition.
As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 Scholars in the Arts, and 20 Scholars in Career and Technical Education. In total, 161 high school seniors across the nation were named 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars.
Each scholar also nominates a teacher as a 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program’s Distinguished Teacher. The following teachers were chosen by Georgia’s three Scholars:
Mr. Tom Davison, BASIS International School Shenzhen, GA, Math
Nominating Scholar: William Ellsworth
Ms. Jenny Jackson, Houston County High School, GA, Business Education
Nominating Scholar: Keerti Jessica Soundappan
Mr. Jordan White, Duluth High School, GA, AP Human Geography
Nominating Scholar: Vani Senthil
Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 7,500 of the nation's top-performing students with an annual ceremony in Washington, D.C. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.
To learn more about U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, click here.
*Scholar for U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.