Silver Chips Online

Eight Blazers named candidates in Presidential Scholars Program

Seniors recognized for academic and artistic achievement

By Charles Kong, Online Op/Ed Editor
January 27, 2008
Eight seniors were among the 48 students in Maryland to be selected as Presidential Scholar candidates, as released by the U.S. Department of Education on Jan. 17.

These candidates were chosen either for their academic achievement or their excellence in the arts, according to the U.S. Department of Education web site. The approximately 2,600 students in the academic component were chosen for scoring exceptionally well on the SAT Math and Critical Reading sections or the ACT equivalent.

The 50 students entering the program through the arts were nominated by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA).

Approximately 500 candidates are named semifinalists based on their "academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities and an analysis of essay," according to the U.S. Department of Education web site. The Commission on Presidential Scholars then reviews the applications and selects up to 121 academic scholars and 20 art scholars.

Presidential Scholars receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with many accomplished people, visit museums and receptions and attend a White House-sponsored ceremony to receive the Presidential Scholars medallion, according to the U.S. Department of Education web site.

Last year, Kathleen Jee was chosen as a Presidential Scholar and Andrew Durnford and Eric Su were named semifinalists.

The Department of Education's website for the Presidential Scholars program can be found here. The full list of candidates is located here

Blair's candidates are:

Dawn Brimmer*
William Burton
Benjamin Lee
Nilan Schnure
Ryan Waldman
Thomas Warner
Julie Zhu**
Christina Zou

*Dawn Brimmer no longer attends Montgomery Blair High School
** Julie Zhu qualified as a candidate for both the academic and art components of the program.
Editor's Note: Julie Zhu is the art editor for Silver Chips Online.

Due to processing errors on the part of the U.S. Department of Education, Nilan Schnure's name was initially left off of the list of candidates.