ARIZONA NEWS

Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Tucson students named Arizona’s Presidential scholars

May 11, 2023, 4:25 AM

U.S. Presidential Scholars medallions. (U.S. Presidential Scholars/Facebook)...

U.S. Presidential Scholars medallions. (U.S. Presidential Scholars/Facebook)

(U.S. Presidential Scholars/Facebook)

PHOENIX — U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on Wednesday announced the 59th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, including four students from Arizona.

Those selected include Tyler Ming-Fei Tam, Phoenix Country Day School, Paradise Valley; Tej Sandeep Desai, Paradise Valley High School, Phoenix; Rachana R. Gurudu, BASIS Scottsdale, Scottsdale; Zakiriya Hilal Alem Gladney, University High School, Tucson.

As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2023 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.

Desai was also named U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education and Gladney was named U.S. Presidential Scholar in Arts.

This year, 161 high school seniors were selected as Presidential Scholars.

Of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,000 candidates qualified for the 2023 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams.

They can also be nominated by chief state school officers, other partner recognition organizations and Young Arts, the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists.

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 a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership.

“U.S. Presidential Scholars have always represented the future of our country and the bright promise it holds. I want each of these remarkable students to know: your passion and intellect, pursuit of excellence, and spirit of service are exactly what our country needs,” Cardona said.

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 8,000 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 2023 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program.

A complete list of 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available on the official website.

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Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Tucson students named Arizona’s Presidential scholars