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Secretary Spellings Announces 2008 Presidential Scholars


U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today announced the selection of 139 outstanding high school seniors as the 2008 Presidential Scholars. The students have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship and service to their schools and communities. Presidential scholars will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington D.C., from June 21-24.

“The 2008 Presidential Scholars shine a bright hope on the future of our country,” said Spellings. “Not only have these young graduates demonstrated exemplary discipline and achievement in academics and the arts, but they have also exhibited exceptional leadership and service to their local communities. Their commitment to excellence and contributions to society reflect the character and innovation necessary to keep America both competitive economically and collaborative in overcoming challenges within our global community.”

The 139 Presidential Scholars include one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from families of U.S. citizens living abroad. This also includes 15 chosen at-large and 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts. A 29-member Commission on Presidential Scholars appointed by President Bush selected the scholars based on their academic success, artistic excellence, community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

The Presidential Scholars program was created in 1964 to honor academic achievement and was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. This prestigious program has honored more than 5,000 of the nation’s top students.

Of the three million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 3,000 candidates qualified to be a Presidential Scholar on the basis of outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, or by nomination through the nationwide youngARTS™ competition conducted by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.

Since 1983, each Presidential Scholar has had the opportunity to select his or her most inspiring and challenging teacher to travel to Washington, D.C., to receive a Teacher Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Education and to participate in the recognition events.


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