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Three Kansas students named 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars

Posted: May 13, 2021
Categories: KSDE
Author: Ann Bush

Five other students named semifinalists

Three Kansas students have been named 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars.

There were eight Kansas students selected as semifinalists for the 2021 Presidential Scholars Program. From that list, three students were named Presidential Scholars – Khushi Kohli, a senior at Olathe North High School, Olathe Unified School District 233; Charles Horner, a senior at Shawnee Mission South High School, Shawnee Mission USD 512; and Aishani Saxena, a senior at Blue Valley West High School, Blue Valley USD 229.

Kohli, Horner and Saxena are part of the 57th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, which recognized 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts and Career and Technical Education (CTE) fields.

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 evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Created in 1864, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 7,600 of the nation’s top-performing students. The program expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literacy and performing arts. In 2015, the program was once again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in CTE fields.

The 57th Presidential Scholars class will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer.

Kansas’ other five semifinalists were:

  • Rishit Chilappa, Blue Valley North High School, Blue Valley USD 229.
  • Aditya Narayan Joshi, Wichita East High School, Wichita USD 259 (semifinalist for U.S. Presidential Scholar in CTE).
  • Abihith Kothapalli, Blue Valley West High School, Blue Valley USD 229.
  • Julia Pei-Shen Lin, Lawrence Free State High School, Lawrence USD 497.
  • Rachel Lynne Sebesta, Ellsworth High School, Ellsworth USD 327 (semifinalist for U.S. Presidential Scholar in CTE).

A complete list of 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available at http://www.ed.gov/psp

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