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Three Whitefish Bay High School seniors are Presidential Scholar semifinalists

May 7, 2014

Whitefish Bay — Of the nine Wisconsin students named Presidential Scholar semifinalists, one-third are from Whitefish Bay High School.

Whitefish Bay High School seniors Elizabeth Karron, Madeline Saviano and Wentong Zhang have been named semifinalists for the 2014 Presidential Scholars award, the nation's highest honor for graduating high school seniors. Wisconsin's nine semifinalists are among 565 semifinalists nationwide.

"We are quite pleased with the strong showing of Whitefish Bay high school students within the group of nine statewide finalists," said Whitefish Bay Superintendent Laura Myrah. "Elizabeth, Madeline and Wentong are not only academically successful but also are responsible young adults who are involved in athletics or co-curricular activities, and who demonstrate caring, friendly behaviors toward others. These three students, and their families, should be extremely proud of themselves.

The Presidential Scholars program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor the nation's most distinguished high school students.

From nearly 3.2 million graduating high school seniors, more than 4,000 students were identified as candidates for the program based on exceptional performance on the ACT or SAT college admissions tests. Candidates were then asked to provide essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports and transcripts. An independent, national Presidential Scholar Semifinalists committee of educators convened by the Commission on Presidential Scholars reviewed application materials to select semifinalists.

"Congratulations to these outstanding students for being named Presidential Scholar Semifinalists," said State Superintendent Tony Evers. "With the support of their parents and teachers, these students have excelled academically and prepared themselves for next steps after high school graduation: college and career."

The Commission on Presidential Scholars will make the final selection of the nation's 121 academic Presidential Scholars — one male and one female from each state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and from families of U.S. citizens living abroad; and up to 15 students are chosen at-large. The Presidential Scholars Commission also chooses up to 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts for a total of up to 141 Presidential Scholars.

Students chosen as Presidential Scholars will travel to Washington, D.C., in June, where they will meet with government officials, educators, authors, musicians and scientists. They also will receive a Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.

Scholars are asked to identify one teacher who was most influential in their education. The teacher also will be invited to the nation's capital for National Recognition Week and will receive the Presidential Scholars program Teacher Recognition Award.

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