Central High School seniors Shirley Sharp and Anna Carnes have been selected as U.S. Presidential Scholar Program candidates. As the only two representatives from Carroll County, the girls are eligible for national honors through the program.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our 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. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, more than 160 students are named Presidential Scholars and honored in our Nation’s capital.
Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities. More than 4,000 candidates were selected for their exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT assessment. Further consideration is based on students’ essays, self-assessments, and descriptions of activities, school recommendations, and school transcripts. A distinguished panel of educators reviews submissions, selecting 560 semifinalists in April. Once selected, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars will review semifinalist applications and will name the U.S. Presidential Scholars for 2020.
Presidential Scholars are recognized in Washington, D.C. as guests of the Commission. The expense-paid trip gives Presidential Scholars the opportunity to meet accomplished government officials, educators, musicians, scientists, and corporate leaders. Scholars visit museums and monuments and are recognized at an awards ceremony. To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars are awarded the Presidential Scholar Medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.