10 WKU Gatton Academy Seniors recognized as candidates for 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

Top row (L-R): Samuel Chang, Andrew Davison, John Dumancic, Krupa Hedge, Gloria Huang

Top row (L-R): Samuel Chang, Andrew Davison, John Dumancic, Krupa Hedge, Gloria Huang Bottom row (L-R): Joseph Lyvers, Jazmine Moore, Diksha Satish, Lauren Taylor, Jason Zhang(WKU)
Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 5:53 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Ten Gatton Academy seniors learned recently they are candidates for the 2021 United States Presidential Scholars Program.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.

The 2021 candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholar from The Gatton Academy are:

  • Samuel Chang (Bowling Green High School), son of Yining Chen and Nianchu Chang, from Bowling Green.
  • Andrew R. Davison (Rowan County Senior High School), son of Rebecca and Scott Davison, from Morehead.
  • John P. Dumancic (Larry Ryle High School), son of Dominik and Laura Dumancic, from Union.
  • Krupa N. Hegde (Larry Ryle High School), daughter of Narasimha and Shailaja Hedge, from Union.
  • Gloria Huang (South Warren High School), daughter of Guosheng Huang and Huanjing Wang, from Bowling Green.
  • Joseph L. Lyvers, (Bardstown High School), son of Charlotte and Roger Lyvers, from Loretto.
  • Jazmine Moore (Elizabethtown Senior High School), daughter of Corrado and Monika Moore, from Elizabethtown.
  • Diksha Satish (Western Hills High School), daughter of Aurna Lakshmanaperumalraja and Ramakrishnan Satish, from Frankfort.
  • Lauren M. Taylor (Campbell County High), daughter of Patrick and Valerie Taylor, from Cold Spring.
  • Jason Zhang (Bowling Green High School), son of Lei Peng and Rui Zhang, from Bowling Green.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars’ review committee selects honored scholars annually based on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership, and service activities, in addition to the quality and content of their essays.

Each year, more than 5,000 candidates are identified for the component of the program that focuses on academic achievement and based on having scored exceptionally well on the SAT or the ACT.  Eligible students are U.S. citizens and legal permanent U.S. residents who will graduate or receive their high school diploma between January and August of the current program year and have taken the ACT or SAT assessment on or before October of the previous year.

“These young men and women are outstanding representatives of The Gatton Academy and Kentucky’s youth. They are exceptional in many ways not just academically. They are researchers, problem-solvers,  dedicated community volunteers, and caring friends,” states Director of The Gatton Academy, Dr. Lynette Breedlove.

From here, approximately 700 candidates will be named semifinalists, and up to 161 students will be recognized in May as Presidential Scholars.  The majority of the Scholars will be selected on the basis of broad academic achievement. 

Approximately twenty students are selected on the basis of their academic and artistic scholarship in the visual arts, the performing arts, or creative writing.

Additionally, approximately twenty additional students will be selected on the basis of their ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

If a student is selected as a U.S. Presidential Scholar, they are traditionally honored in Washington, D.C. in June. 

During the traditional trip, U.S. Presidential Scholars are guests of the U.S. Department of Education and the Commission and enjoy an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with government officials, educators, and other accomplished people. 

To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars are awarded the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.

For more information, visit the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential STEM program for gifted and high ability high school juniors and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students while pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematical careers. The Gatton Academy has been named to The Washington Post’s list of top-performing schools with elite students for eleven consecutive years.

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