PHS student named semifinalist in Presidential Scholars program

Published 4:13 pm Thursday, May 5, 2016


PELHAM— Valedictorian and graduating senior at Pelham High School, Peyton Strickland, was recently named one of 689 semifinalists in the 2016 Presidential Scholars Program, according to a recent press release.



The semifinalists were selected from about 4,700 candidates expected to graduate from a high school in the United States in 2016.

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars program, which is in its 52nd year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

The program was established in 1964 by an executive order of the president to recognize some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership and service to the school and community.

It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students demonstrating exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was expanded to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical fields.

Annually, about 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from among that year’s senior class, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth.

All scholars are invited to Washington, D.C. in June for the National Recognition Program, featuring various events and enrichment activities and culminating in the presentation of the Presidential Scholars Medallion during a White House-sponsored ceremony.

A distinguished panel of educators has reviewed these submissions and selected 689 semifinalists. The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of about 32 eminent citizens appointed by the president, will select the finalists.

The U.S. Department of Education will announce the scholars in May.

For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, call the Presidential Scholars Office at 507-931-8345 or email