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U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Honors Two Missouri Seniors

Missouri high school seniors Rahul Kanna (Lafayette High School; Rockwood R-VI) and Jordan Tierney (Visitation Academy) were selected as members of the 56th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars. A total of 161 students from across the country were recognized for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

Approximately 5,300 of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year qualified for the 2020 awards. Candidates were recognized for outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, or through nominations by state departments of education and other recognition organizations, including the National YoungArts Foundation. Students must also display evidence of community service, leadership and a commitment to high ideals.

Eight additional students from Missouri were previously selected as semifinalists:

  • Ronik Bhaskar (Parkway West High School; Parkway C-2)
  • Abhishek Ganesh (Lafayette High School; Rockwood R-VI)
  • Audrey Garoutte (Carl Junction High School; Carl Junction R-I)
  • Ansh Gupta (Central High School; St. Joseph)
  • **Lauren Huebner (Moberly High School; Moberly)
  • Kamala Madireddi (John Burroughs School)
  • Bhavya Perma (Marquette High School; Rockwood R-VI)
  • **Reagan Swatosh (Ava High School; Ava R-I)

** - Semifinalist for U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education

“The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program honors well-rounded students throughout our nation, and I commend these Missouri students for being selected for this prestigious recognition,” said Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “Their hard work has paid off and will continue to do so for years to come.”

Each year’s Presidential Scholars class has traditionally been recognized with an annual ceremony in Washington D.C. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education is developing an online recognition event for this year’s honorees. This federal program has honored over 7,500 U.S. Presidential Scholars since the program’s inception in 1964.

A full list of 2020 honorees and more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program can be found here: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/psp/index.html.