Education

Four Iowa high school seniors named presidential scholars

FILE PHOTO: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 22, 2018. (CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Andrew Harrer)
FILE PHOTO: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 22, 2018. (CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Andrew Harrer)

Four Iowans — all from the eastern part of the state — are among 161 high school seniors across the nation named as presidential scholars, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Tuesday.

The honor goes to seniors based on their accomplishments in academics, the arts and career and technical education fields.

The Iowans are: Colin McDonald, Tiffin, home schooled; Jaxon Mullinnix, Lone Tree High School; Megan Niewoehner of Hawkeye, Sumner-Fredericksburg High School; and Astoria Chao, Cedar Falls High School. Mullinnix and Niewoehner are scholars in career and technical education.

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 commitment to high ideals.

Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,200 candidates qualified for the 2019 awards determined by outstanding performance on the SAT and ACT exams, or through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations and the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide competition.

The scholars are comprised of one male and one female from each state and territory, as well as 15 others chosen at-large, 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education. They win an expense-paid trip to a June 23 ceremony in Washington, D.C.

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