U.S. Secretary of Education John King announced this week the selection of Brook Higbee of Alamo, Nevada, who attends Pahranagat Valley High School in Alamo, as a 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholar.
Higbee is one of 160 outstanding American high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service, and contribution to school and community. The U.S. Presidential Scholars will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington D.C., from June 1921.
“This year’s class of Presidential Scholars continues a more than 50 year trend of honoring students who’ve shown excellence in their educational, artistic and civic pursuits,” King said. “Thirty years ago, the program was expanded to include students in the arts, which is critical to providing students with a well-rounded education. Now, we’ve added 20 more slots to honor our highest achieving students in career and technical education, reflecting the Department’s belief that a quality education must be a well-rounded education that prepares students for college, careers and any other civic service.”
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by President Obama, selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the three million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,600 candidates qualified for the 2016 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArtsTM competition.
The 2016 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 from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and for the first time 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.
Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored almost
7,000 of the nation’s top-per-
forming students with the
prestigious award given to
honorees during the annual
ceremony in D.C. The pro-
gram was expanded in 1979
to recognize students who
demonstrate exceptional tal-
ent in the visual, literary and
performing arts. In 2015, the
program was again extended
to recognize students who
demonstrate ability and ac-
complishment in career and
technical education fields.