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Three South Dakota students named as 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars

May 22, 2020

Three South Dakota high school seniors have been named U.S. Presidential Scholars for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

On May 21, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the 56th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, which included the following South Dakota high school seniors:

  • Jonathan Coronado, Rapid City - Stevens Senior High School
  • Katherine J Pardy, Sioux Falls - O'Gorman High School
  • Ainsley Powers, Brookings - Brookings High School

"It is my privilege to congratulate the Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 on their outstanding academic achievement, community service, and leadership," said Secretary DeVos. "These exemplary young people have excelled inside the classroom and out. And, while they are facing unprecedented challenges as they graduate from high school into a world that looks much different than it did just a few months ago, their determination, resilience, and commitment to excellence will serve them well as they pursue their next steps."

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations, and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 7,600 of the nation's top-performing students. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer as public health circumstances permit.

A complete list of 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars follows and is also available at www.ed.gov/psp.

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