The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the U.S. Department of Education have selected five current and one former Mercer Island High School students as candidates for the Presidential Scholars program.
The students are Grace Hunter, Eugenie Morton, Lindsey Reitinger, Helena Shield and Aidan Wang.
Jasper Hugunin, who was also selected, attends the early-entrance program at the University of Washington, bringing the total of MIHS students and former student to six.
“This is a tremendous honor and we are all extremely proud of them for their accomplishments in academics, in leadership and in the community,” said Mercer Island School District Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano.
The Department of Education selects students to apply for the honor based on exceptional scores on the ACT or SAT exam or by nomination of a chief state school officer. Approximately 560 high school seniors are named semifinalists and up to 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from that group. In April, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars reviews applications from the semifinalists.
“This is an incredibly competitive award and speaks volumes about the dedication our students have shown in their academics, leadership and community involvement,” said Vicki Puckett, MIHS principal. “To have six Presidential Scholar semifinalists from Mercer Island High School is very exceptional. We are all proud of each one of our Presidential Scholar semifinalists and look forward to each candidate moving forward in the future.”
The U.S. Presidential Scholars program, established in 1964 by the president’s executive order, recognizes some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership and service to school and community. The program offers finalists an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. in June for a White House medallion ceremony along with other special events and enrichment activities.