Four local students named candidates in Presidential Scholars Program

Posted: Sunday, February 06, 2011

Three graduating seniors at Juneau-Douglas High School and one senior at Thunder Mountain High School have been named four of more than 3,000 candidates in the 2011 Presidential Scholars Program. The candidates were selected from nearly 3.2 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2011.

The JDHS seniors are: Melissa Skan, daughter of Paul Skan and Jean Mischel; Peter Jorgensen, son of Amy Skilbred and Eric Jorgensen; and Megan Behnke, daughter of Steve Behnke and Larri Spengler. The TMHS senior is Kenneth Baird Goettler, son of Brian and Kim Goettler.

Inclusion in the Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 47th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

The 3,000 candidates were selected for their exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT Assessment. Further consideration is based on students’ essays, self-assessments, descriptions of activities, school recommendations, and school transcripts. A distinguished panel of educators will review these submissions and select 500 semifinalists in early April.

The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of some 32 eminent citizens appointed by the President, will make final selection of the Scholars. They will select one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. students living abroad; 15 students at-large; and up to 20 students from the creative and performing arts. The U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May.

Scholars will be invited to Washington, D.C., for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities with their elected representatives, educators, and other leading individuals in public life.

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