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Six W.Va. Students Named Presidential Scholar Semifinalists

April 24, 2007

CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ Six West Virginia seniors have been named United States Presidential Scholars semifinalists, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.  

Sarah Dolan, Scott High School in Boone County; Sean Eagan, Cameron High School in Marshall County; Sarah Miles, Doddridge County High School; Elizabeth Parnicza, Weir High School, Hancock County; Kamen Simeonov, University High School, Monongalia County; and John Zumpetta, Brooke High School; were chosen as West Virginia’s semifinalists. Two of the students will be selected as scholars.  

“These students should be commended for their hard work and dedication,” said state Schools Superintendent Steve Paine. “This achievement will open the door to numerous educational opportunities and I wish them continued success.”  

About 550 students were identified as semifinalists from nearly 2.8 million graduating high school seniors from across the country. The semifinalists were chosen for their academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service and contribution to school and community.  

Those who are named Presidential Scholars will receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. during National Recognition Week and will be awarded the Presidential Scholars medallion. The four-day celebration includes educational seminars, meetings with representatives of the three branches of government, a morning of community service, an exhibition of scholars’ artwork and a public performance in the Concert Hall of the Kennedy Center by the Presidential Scholars in the Arts. Winners also are scheduled to meet with the president.  

The Presidential Scholars program was established 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. It does not carry any monetary award.  

Since 1983, scholars also have invited their most inspirational teacher to travel with them to Washington, D.C., to participate in events. The teachers also receive a Teacher Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Education.

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