Henry Wang of Parkersburg High School is among six West Virginia semi-finalists for 2011. Two winners, one girl and one boy, are chosen each year from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and from families of U.S. citizens living abroad. The other West Virginia scholar is Kaitlin Stricker of Charleston Catholic High School, a private school in Kanawha County.
“Henry and the other scholars should be extremely proud, and their accomplishments should be commended by everyone,” said state Superintendent Jorea Marple. “Receiving such a prestigious honor will open so many doors for them, and I wish them luck on their continued success.”
As a Presidential Scholar, Wang receives an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. during National Recognition Week. The four-day celebration in June includes meetings with government officials, educators, authors, musicians and scientists. Winners will also have the opportunity to visit museums and monuments, and to attend recitals, receptions and ceremonies. To commemorate their achievements, the Scholars are awarded the Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.
Each year, up to 141 students are named Presidential Scholars based on their scholarship, leadership, citizenship, artistic ability and contribution to school and community.
The Presidential Scholars are also asked to invite their most influential teacher to travel with them to Washington, D.C. and attend the recognition events. The selected teachers are honored at a special reception and presented with the Teacher Recognition Award.
The Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to also recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. Since the establishment of the program, more than 5,000 Presidential Scholars have been honored.
For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699, or for a complete list of the 2011 scholars, visit http://www.ed.gov/programs/psp/awards.html.
--The West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) are committed to ensuring all students in the state are college and career ready when they graduate from a public school. What West Virginia students are learning in school exceeds national and international standards. Through the WVDE’s 21st century learning plan called “Global21: Students deserve it. The world demands it.,” West Virginia is seeing better student performance on the West Virginia Educational Standards Test 2 (WESTEST2); the SAT and the ACT college entrance exams; the job skills assessment called Work Keys given to career and technical education students; and in a high school graduation rate that exceeds the national average.