A Peoria student who attends Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale earned U.S. Presidential Scholar honors.
Suhani Patel, who attends the Mountain Ridge campus at 22800 N. 67th Ave., was named by U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona on May 18 among those selected.
Patel is one of 161 American high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, technical expertise, leadership, citizenship, service and contribution to school and community.
“The 2021 Presidential Scholars represent extraordinary achievements for our extraordinary times,” Dr. Cardona stated in a news release. “I am delighted to join President Biden in saluting these outstanding young people for their achievements, service, character and continued pursuit of excellence. Their examples make me proud and hopeful about the future. Honoring them can remind us all of the great potential in each new generation and renew our commitment to helping them achieve their dreams.”
Each U.S. Presidential Scholar is offered the opportunity to name his or her most influential teacher, and each distinguished teacher is honored with a personal letter from the Secretary of Education. The teacher chosen for recognition by Patel was Renee Woodruff of Mountain Ridge High School.
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 demonstrated commitment to high ideals.
Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 6,000 candidates qualified for the 2021 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations and the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts program.
As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education.
Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 7,600 of the nation’s top performing students. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts.
In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.