Two Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) students were named "2010 U.S. Presidential Scholars," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced this week. Parkview High”s My Ngoc C. To and Matthew G. Faulkner of Shiloh High are part of a group of only four outstanding high school seniors from Georgia chosen for the program. A total of 141 earned the honor nationwide. The Presidential Scholar Program is a prestigious honor, which annually recognizes the nation”s most distinguished graduating seniors.
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars appointed by the President selected the scholars based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the three million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 3,000 candidates qualified 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.
As part of the program, each Presidential Scholar has the opportunity to honor his or her most inspiring and challenging teacher by inviting the educator to accompany the scholar to Washington, D.C. While in the nation”s capital, the teacher receives a Teacher Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Education. My Ngoc C. To chose Parkview High language arts teacher Mary Lynn Huie, while Matthew Faulkner invited Shiloh High AP Literature and Composition teacher Patrick Norton. All four will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington, D.C., from June 19-22.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson, to recognize and honor the nation”s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. Each year, up to 141 students are named Presidential Scholars, one of the nation”s highest honors for high school students.