University High School senior is in rare company as one of 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars


Alexander Jow, a senior from University High School, has been announced as one of 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Established in 1964, the highly selective awards program annually honors graduating seniors based on their “academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals,” according to the May 6 news release.

“Presidential Scholars demonstrate the accomplishments that can be made when students challenge themselves, set the highest standards, and commit themselves to excellence,” Duncan said. “I’m honored to celebrate their creativity, hard work, and community service, and I encourage them—and all students—to continue to showcase the capacity for greatness in our nation’s young people.”

That less than 150 earned the honor is pretty impressive considering there are three million prospective graduates in the country. Of those, more than 3,300 qualified for consideration based on their College Board SAT and ACT exams, or through nominations made by Chief State School Officers or the National YoungArts Foundation.

Selections were ultimately made by The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, which is appointed by President Obama.

Incidentally, candidates for the award were asked to name their most influential teacher. Alexander cited David Knight, named IUSD’s High School Teacher of the Year in 2011.

The Orange County Register has more here. (Subscription required.)