NIVEDHA SOUNDAPPAN OF KATHLEEN, GEORGIA NAMED 2017 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLAR
FOR RELEASE Media Contact: Press Office
May 5, 2017 202-401-1576
Program Contact: Simone Olson
NIVEDHA SOUNDAPPAN OF KATHLEEN, GEORGIA
NAMED 2017 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLAR
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the selection of Nivedha Soundappan of Kathleen, Georgia, who attends Houston County High School in Warner Robins, as a 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholar.
Soundappan is one of 161 outstanding American high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service, and contribution
to school and community. The U.S. Presidential Scholars will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington D.C., from June 18-20.
"I congratulate this year's class of Presidential Scholars for their devotion to academic excellence and their parents and teachers who have guided them along the way,” said U.S. Secretary of Education
Betsy DeVos. “Today's Presidential Scholars are tomorrow's leaders, and I am confident they will continue to be shining examples as they enter the next phase of their academic careers.”
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually 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. Of the 3.5 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,100 candidates qualified for
the 2017 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ competition.
The 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.
Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 7,000 of the nation’s top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual ceremony in D.C. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.
Since 1983, each U.S. Presidential Scholar has been offered the opportunity to name his or her most influential teacher. Each distinguished teacher is honored with a personal letter from the Secretary of Education.
The teacher chosen for recognition by Soundappan was Sheila Jones of Houston County High School in Warner Robins, Georgia.
A complete list of 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available at