OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Two metro high school students have been named 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars.
Sukanya Bhattacharya of Edmond, a student at Heritage Hall Upper School in Oklahoma City, and Nicholas Sayegh of Oklahoma City, a student at Western Heights High School in Oklahoma City, have each been named a Presidential Scholar, according to a U.S. Department of Education news release.
“It is my privilege to congratulate the Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 on their outstanding academic achievement, community service, and leadership,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy 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.”
Bhattacharya, Sayegh and 159 other high school seniors throughout the nation are members of the 56th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars.
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars each year based on academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as examples of their community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals, according to the news release.
“As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 Scholars in the Arts and 20 Scholars in Career and Technical Education,” the news release states.
Approximately 3.6 million students are expected to graduate high school in 2020, and of those students, over 5,300 candidates qualified for the 2020 Presidential Scholars awards, which are determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations and the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ competition, according to the news release.