PROVIDENCE – Three Rhode Islanders have been named among the 161 high school seniors as 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars.
The 54th class of scholars was announced May 8 by the U.S. Department of Education.
Each year, the department selects one male and one female student from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. families living abroad for the honor. Those chosen this year from Rhode Island are Barrington resident Portia T. Gaitskell from Lincoln School and Providence resident Jordan C. Kimia, who attends Classical High School.
In addition, Charlestown resident Sherenté M. Harris, a student at The Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center, was selected as a 2018 Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education. She was one of 20 to receive the specific honor this year. The program was expanded to include these specified awards in 2015.
Twenty additional students from across the country were awarded a Presidential Scholar in the Arts – none of which were awarded to applicants in Rhode Island – which dates to 1979.
North Attleboro resident Moriah G. Lim, who attends North Attleboro High School, was one of two Massachusetts students to be named to the program.
“I want to congratulate this year’s class of presidential scholars on their achievement and also thank their parents, teachers and other academic advisers who have helped guide them along the way,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a statement. “These students have pushed themselves to be the best they can be, and I am certain that devotion will serve them well as they continue their individual learning journeys.”
Students are chosen annually by the department based on academic achievements, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts. Per the department’s data, 5,200 of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school in 2018 qualified for the award.
Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored nearly 7,500 of the nation’s top-performing students. A complete list of 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available online.
The 2018 ceremony will be held June 24 in Washington, D.C.