17 RRISD students named Presidential Scholar candidates

Seventeen Round Rock ISD students have been named candidates for the Presidential Scholars program, which allows them to apply for selection to the prestigious academic program.

Students selected represent four District high schools: Cedar Ridge High School had one student, Westwood High School 11 students, McNeil High School had three students and Round Rock High School had two students selected to be Presidential Scholar candidates.

Each year, 4,000 students nationwide are selected as candidates for the program. Candidates are selected based on their SAT and ACT scores. The U.S. 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, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

“Students selected as candidates for the Presidential Scholars program have shown outstanding dedication during their time in Round Rock ISD,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Flores said. “We are proud and honored to celebrate these students’ accomplishments as they move forward with the Presidential Scholarship process.”

Students named Presidential Scholar candidates are listed below:

  • Arvind R. Raghavan, Cedar Ridge,
  • Matthew I. Golla, McNeil,
  • Samagra Jain, McNeil,
  • Katherine M. Perks, McNeil,
  • Mikayla T. Kurkjian, Round Rock,
  • Jackson R. Powell, Round Rock,
  • Joel Abraham, Westwood,
  • Anne Chow, Westwood,
  • Ankit Dhar, Westwood,
  • Lakshmi Sury Gangavarapu, Westwood,
  • Elizabeth C. Hosmer, Westwood,
  • Macklyn A. Hutchison, Westwood,
  • Matthew Y. Jiang, Westwood,
  • Min J. Kim, Westwood,
  • Saket Myneni, Westwood,
  • Roshni Rawal, Westwood,
  • Nicholas C. Wong, Westwood and
  • Vaishnavi Sankar, Westwood.

The next step for candidates will be to apply for the program. After that, a review committee of qualified individuals experienced in secondary and postsecondary education evaluates candidates on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and the quality and content of their essay. The committee will then select 800 semifinalists to advance to the Commission for Presidential Scholars for further review.

In April, the Commission reviews the applications of all semifinalists based on the same criteria used by the review committee. The Commission selects up to 161 U.S Presidential Scholars each year. All scholars are honored for their accomplishments during the National Recognition Program, held in June in Washington, D.C.