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Three DCSD students nominated for U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

CASTLE ROCK – Students from Douglas County, Mountain Vista and Rock Canyon high schools have been nominated as candidates for the 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars is one of the Nation's highest honors for high school students. In fact, only 141 students may receive this honor every year.

The 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.  

The Scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people. In honoring the U.S. Presidential Scholars, the President of the United States symbolically honors all graduating high school seniors of high potential.

The process begins with the selection of approximately 3,000 academic candidates based on SAT and ACT scores.

Every January, about 20 males and twenty females from each state are selected as candidates for the award. This year, three DCSD students were selected as candidates:

Shawn Ong
Douglas County High School

Julie E. Newman
Mountain Vista High School

Benjamin T. King
Rock Canyon High School

A review committee of qualified individuals experienced in secondary and post-secondary education evaluates candidates on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and an analysis of their essay. Approximately 560 candidates are named semifinalists and forwarded to the Commission for further review. All arts nominees submitting candidacy materials are automatically advanced to the semifinalist stage.

In April, the Commission on Presidential Scholars reviews the applications of all semifinalists based on the same criteria used by the review committee.

The Commission selects up to 121 academic scholars and up to 20 arts scholars. All scholars are honored for their accomplishments during National Recognition Weekend, held in June in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Presidential Scholars are guests of the Commission during National Recognition Weekend and enjoy an expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other accomplished people. During the weekend, scholars have the opportunity to visit museums and monuments, and to attend recitals, receptions and ceremonies. To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars are awarded the U.S. Presidential Scholars medalion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.

In 2013, Highlands Ranch High School’s Amy Chen was one of the two Colorado graduates selected for the honor.

Learn more about the US Presidential Scholars Program at

January 26, 2014 | By rmbarber | Category:

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