Jan 29, 2016
Highland Park High School students honored as U.S. Presidential Scholar candidates 

Five Highland Park High School students have been named candidates for the prestigious U.S. Presidential Scholar Program, the most in 14 years. Candidates are graduating high school seniors who have demonstrated accomplishments in many areas - academic and artistic success, leadership, and involvement in school and the community.

The candidates from HPHS are:
  • Matthew Emerson
  • Xiaohan Gao
  • Daniel Huang
  • Francisco Lopez
  • Nga Vu
The Presidential Scholar Program was established by executive order in 1964 to honor and recognize the nation's top high school seniors. Each year, more than 4,000 students are identified as candidates for the program based on their exceptional performance on the SAT or ACT, and further consideration is based on student essays and leadership and service activities. Approximately 800 candidates will be named semifinalists, and the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars will then select up to 161 students for the top honor in April.

The five HPHS students honored is the highest number of candidates chosen from the campus since at least 2002. HPHS Principal Walter Kelly lauded these students for their successes in and out of the classroom.

"I am exceptionally proud of these young adults for being named candidates for one of the top academic honors in the nation," Kelly said. "This recognition not only honors students for a high score on a test, but for their ability to serve as leaders in the community. Helping our students achieve success once they leave high school is of the utmost priority for educators in Highland Park."

Students who are selected as scholars will be invited to Washington, D.C. for an all-expenses paid trip to meet with government officials and educators, and will be honored at a ceremony sponsored by the White House. 

For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, visit www.ed.gov/psp.