Saluting Presidential Scholars


The press release from the United States Department of Education lists the name and hometown for each of the 141 Presidential Scholars for the class of 2012. Since 1964, two high school seniors, one young man and one young woman, from each state plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have been chosen by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. The idea is to recognize future leaders of our country, and no one on the planet has the ability to do that any better than our President. This is a very big deal.

Naturally I scanned the list, heading straight to Indiana, and to my amazement, both Indiana Presidential Scholars are from Carmel. Rebecca S. Chen of Park Tudor and Shea S. Jendrusina of Carmel High School were boldly listed as Carmel, IN and Carmel, IN.

Rebecca and Shea were selected as honored scholars 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 3,300 candidates qualified for the 2012 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers or the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts nationwide YoungArts competition.

The award ceremony will be held in Washington, D.C., on June 16, when Rebecca and Shea will receive a Presidential Scholar medallion. The Scholars will also be able to invite the teacher they view as most inspiring and challenging to them during their educational career. Shea chose Janice Mitchener, also of Carmel. Rebecca named Ryan Ritz of Indianapolis as the teacher offering the most inspiration.

You and I both know good things are coming from the youth of our community. Seems like the President knows it too.