Carmel High School senior among 2 Hoosiers selected as Presidential Scholar for 2021


By Grady Michael Gaynor

Carmel High School senior Zoe Edwards is one of only two students from Indiana to be named a 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholar.

CIC COM 0525 Presidential scholar

Established in 1964, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars annually selects high school seniors based on 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.

“It is incredibly surreal to be chosen as one of only two Presidential Scholars from Indiana,” Edwards said. “I am so honored to have been selected to represent the Carmel community and the state of Indiana.”

CHS Freshman Center Assistant Principal Amy Skeens-Benton said Edwards has been an outstanding example of what students can bring to their high school community.

“Zoe is an exceptional, well-rounded student. She can do anything,” Skeens-Benton said. “This is a huge honor, and CHS is so proud of her. Her teachers and peers would agree.”

Edwards is a four-year member of the Carmel Mayor’s Youth Council, manager of the bike parking program, president of CHS mock trial and is involved in Model UN and the Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society.

In the fall, Edwards plans to attend Oxford University in the UK, where she will study philosophy, politics and economics. Edwards wants to use her degree to someday work in foreign service and with the U.S. government in some capacity.

Only 6,000 of the 3.6 million high school seniors in the U.S. qualified for the award this year, with 161 named winners. The other winner from Indiana is Homestead High School senior Kobe Chen.

For more information and to see a full list of winners and candidates, visit