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May 13, 2021
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JP O'Hare

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U.S. Department of Education Honors Four New York Students as 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars

The U.S. Department of Education today recognized four New York State high school seniors as U.S. Presidential Scholars, State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced today. The Presidential Scholar recognition is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

“It is an honor to congratulate these four New York state students on their outstanding academic achievement,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. “Each of these awardees is an example of the limitless potential of our young people to achieve excellence. Their work ethic will serve them well as they pursue their lifelong goals.”

“To achieve such a prestigious honor amidst the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic is truly remarkable,” said Commissioner Rosa. “These students have demonstrated exceptional academic success, artistic excellence or career skills. They represent New York’s future and show a real drive to improve the world around them.”

The full text of the USDE news release is below:

U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona today announced the 57th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, recognizing 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts and career and technical education fields.

The New York scholars include (hometown, scholar, school, location):

  • NY – New York – Shubh Khanna, Hunter College High School, New York, New York.
  • NY – New York – Kristen Meola, United Nations International School, New York, New York.
  • NY – Purchase – Julia K. Brand, Riverdale Country School, Bronx, New York.
  • NY – Sleepy Hollow – Owen M. Dugan, Dugan Home-School, Sleepy Hollow, New York.

“The 2021 Presidential Scholars represent extraordinary achievements for our extraordinary times,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I am delighted to join President Biden in saluting these outstanding young people for their achievements, service, character and continued pursuit of excellence. Their examples make me proud and hopeful about the future. Honoring them can remind us all of the great potential in each new generation and renew our commitment to helping them achieve their dreams.”

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 6,000 candidates qualified for the 2021 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations and the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ program.

As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2021 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. 

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 7,600 of the nation’s top-performing students. 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.

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2021 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer.

A complete list of 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars is also available here