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Students nominated for scholars program

NASHUA – Local students make up nearly a quarter of the 80 New Hampshire students nominated by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the U.S. Department of Education to be candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program this year.

The locals who received nominations are:

• Nashua High School North students Varun Lingadal and Rishika Yadav,

• Nashua High School South students Julia Zhang, Shannon Mcinnis, Deepti Srinivasan, Ankita Devasia and Amol Khanna,

• Academy for Science and Design students Laurel Nelson and Kira Gousios,

• Merrimack High School student Sophia Kim,

• Bishop Guertin High School student (Merrimack resident) Meera Kurup,

• Souhegan High School students Ian Lewis and Sophie Unger,

• Milford High School student’s Elizabeth Noble and Kyle Rysdam,

• Bedford High School students Gillian Simpson and Molly Boll and

• Hollis Brookline High School student Nora Miller.

The program began in 1964 after Executive Order 11155 was established by President Lyndon Johnson to recognize the work of graduating high school seniors. The order states: “It is necessary in the national interest that the federal government encourage high attainment by students in secondary schools, both public and private, throughout the nation.”

Each year, up to 141 students are named. The designation of Presidential Scholar is recognized as one of the nation’s highest honors for a high school student to achieve.

Students are chosen based on academic, artistic, leadership and technical success, along with involvement in their high schools and communities.

Since 1964, 7,000 high school students have been honored. Semi-finalists will be named in April. Finalists will be named in May. Each year, the Presidential Scholars Program selects one male and one female student from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Americans who live abroad. Fifteen at-large students and up to 20 students in the arts on the basis of “outstanding scholarship, service, leadership, and creativity” are also selected. Selections are made through the White House Commission on U.S. Presidential Scholars and the U.S. Department of Education.

The two New Hampshire winners will receive a scholar’s medallion at the White House in June. Those winners will take part in various educational activities along with seminars, lectures and workshops with government officials, elected representatives, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other important figures.