Karla Denny, Director, Communications and Recognition Programs, 785-296-4876
May 6, 2008
For Immediate Release
Two Kansas students named Presidential Scholars
Douglass D. Dellinger, a student at Blue Valley North High School, and Kate M. Falkenstien, a student at Lawrence Free State High School, have been selected as 2008 Presidential Scholars from among the approximately 500 semifinalists in the Program.
The United States Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our Nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the Program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. Each year, 141 students are named as Presidential Scholars. The Scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people.
Students have the opportunity to become Presidential Scholars based on two paths of accomplishment. The majority of the Scholars are selected on the basis of their academic scholarship. Artistic scholarship in the visual arts, the performing arts, or creative writing is also a path of accomplishment. A review committee of qualified individuals experienced in secondary and post-secondary education evaluates candidates on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and the quality and content of their essay. Approximately 500 candidates are named semifinalists and their names and supporting materials are forwarded to the Commission for further review. In addition to Mr. Dellinger and Ms Falkenstien, semifinalists from Kansas included Jessica Davis, Northwest High School, Wichita; Lichy Han, Blue Valley West High School, Overland Park; Joseph McIlvan, Madison High School, Madison; and Devin Smith, Olathe North High School, Olathe.
In April, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars reviewed the applications of all semifinalists and selected 121 Academic Scholars and 20 Arts Scholars. All scholars will be honored for their accomplishments during the program’s national recognition events, held in June in Washington, D.C.
During this trip, Presidential Scholars are guests of the Commission and enjoy an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists, and other accomplished people. Scholars have the opportunity to visit museums and monuments, and to attend recitals, receptions, and ceremonies. To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars are awarded the Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House. Additionally, Scholars are asked to identify one teacher who has most influenced him or her, and the selected educators are also invited to attend the recognition events. These distinguished professionals are honored for their efforts at a special reception and presented with the Teacher Recognition award.
For more information about the Presidential Scholars program, please contact 202/401-0961 or http://www.ed.gov/programs/psp/index.html (case sensitive). For general information on the Arts component of the program, contact the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts at 1-800-970-ARTS or www.nfaa.org. For specific questions regarding the Presidential Scholars Program application, contact 319-341-2777 or PSP@act.org