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16 CCSD Scholars Named U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Candidates

16 CCSD Scholars Named U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Candidates
Posted on 01/31/2019
Presidential Scholar Program

Sixteen Charleston County School District (CCSD) scholars were named among more than 4,500 candidates in the 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Eleven of those were from Academic Magnet High School (AMHS) and five from Wando High School (WHS). The candidates were selected from nearly 3.6 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2019. 

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 54th 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 application is by invitation only; students do not apply individually to the program, nor do their schools nominate them.

Last year CCSD had ten semifinalists and one winner, Jenny Yao, from AMHS.
“Academic Magnet High School is very proud to acknowledge our 11 US Presidential Scholars candidates for 2019,” said Catherine Spencer, Principal of Academic Magnet High School. “Each of these students embodies exceptional academic, leadership, and service qualities that are at the heart of the Presidential Scholar criteria. Following in the footsteps of AMHS alumna Jenny Yao, a National Presidential Scholar in 2018, we are hopeful that again an Academic Magnet student may claim that recognition in 2019. These students are extraordinary leaders today, with the greatest promise for the future!”

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President to recognize some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership, and service to school and community. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students demonstrating exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. In 2015, the program was expanded once again to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical fields.

“Our students continue to amaze us with their academic success, as well as their extra-curricular activities and community service,” said Sherry Eppelsheimer, the
principal of Wando. “We are so proud of these Wando students and all their accomplishments.”

Annually, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from among that year’s senior class, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth. All Scholars are invited to Washington, DC in June for the National Recognition Program, featuring various events and enrichment activities and culminating in the presentation of the Presidential Scholars Medallion during a White House-sponsored ceremony.

A distinguished panel of educators will review these submissions and select 600 semifinalists in early April. The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the President, will select the finalists, and the U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May.
Scholars will be invited to Washington, DC, for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities.

For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, call the U.S. Presidential Scholars Office at 507.931.8345, or send an e-mail to

Candidates from Charleston County School District
Academic Magnet
Razeen Basunia
Virginia R. Braddock
Julian R. Gatch
Abigail C. Keating
Jared T. Lipton
Christopher M. Littlejohn
Paul T. Puckette
Steven A. Schlosser
James G. Staubes
Bohan Wang
Yuna Zhao

Clemente B. Farias Canepa
Jack H. Frain
Mackenzi E. Nierduffy
Nolan E. Howard
Dylan R. Smith


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