ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — April 21, 2009 — Two Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) students are among 560 students selected as semifinalists for the 2009 Presidential Scholars Program. Audrey Y. Padgett, from Kadena High School, in Okinawa, Japan and Bruce W. Pfirrmann from Nile C. Kinnick High School in Yokosuka, Japan have both been named semi-finalists in this prestigious competition.
"It's a great honor to be recognized as a semi-finalist in the Presidential Scholars Program," said DoDEA Director Dr. Shirley Miles. "I'm sure the students, their families and their teachers are all very proud of the dedication and determination this achievement highlights."
The United States Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by Executive Order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our Nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the Program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. Each year, up to 141 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the Nation's highest honors for high school students. The Scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people. In honoring the Presidential Scholars, the President of the United States symbolically honors all graduating high school seniors of high potential.
Students have the opportunity to become Presidential Scholars based on two paths of accomplishment. The majority of the Scholars are selected on the basis of broad academic achievement. Approximately twenty additional students are selected on the basis of their academic and artistic scholarship in the visual arts, the performing arts, or creative writing.
In April, the Commission on Presidential Scholars reviews the applications of all semifinalists based on the same criteria used by the review committee. The Commission selects up to 121 academic scholars and up to 20 arts scholars. All scholars are honored for their accomplishments during National Recognition Week, held in June in Washington, D.C.
Presidential Scholars are guests of the Commission during National Recognition Week and enjoy an expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other accomplished people. During the week, scholars have the opportunity to visit museums and monuments, and to attend recitals, receptions and ceremonies. To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars are awarded the Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.
All Presidential Scholars are asked to identify those educators who have most influenced them. The selected educators are also invited to attend National Recognition Week. There, they are honored at a special reception to recognize and thank them for their efforts, and they are presented with the Teacher Recognition Award. For more information on the program visit the website: http://www.ed.gov/programs/psp/about.html
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality, public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, the United States, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Education Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.