The U.S. Presidential Scholars has announced their 2018 list and eight outstanding FFA members have been named for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education. One of the nation’s highest honors for high school students, U.S. Presidential Scholars awards up to 161 students each year.
The FFA members named as scholars are:
- Michael Z. Chen of Newark, Delaware, member of Newark High School FFA Chapter
- Connor K. Erbsen of Lanark, Illinois, member of Eastland FFA Chapter
- Lane Hilgenhold of Tell City, Indiana, member of Perry Central FFA Chapter
- Caleb L. Lines of Nashua, Iowa, member of the Nashua-Plainfield FFA Chapter
- Caitlin Henne of Eaton Rapids, Michigan, member of the Springport FFA Chapter
- Tyler Noyes of Toston, Montana, member of the Broadway FFA Chapter
- Brianna D. Maddock of Davenport, North Dakota, member of the Kindred FFA Chapter
- Bridger J. Gordon of Whitewood, South Dakota, member of the Sturgis FFA Chapter
Established in 1964 by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson, the U.S. Presidential Scholars program was created with the intent to recognize the nation’s most distinguished high school graduating seniors. In 2015, the program was expanded to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education.
The 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of two students from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and from U.S., families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large. There are also 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.
Overseen by the Commission on Presidential Scholars, the program is administered by staff at the U.S. Department of Education. The commission selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service and leadership.
Each honoree is invited to attend a recognition program to be held on June 24 in Washington, D.C.
“This recognition demonstrates the students’ ability to balance their academic work while making a positive difference in their schools and communities,” said National FFA Advisor, Dr. Steve Brown. “As an FFA member, these students went above and beyond expectations that are set. They are living out the mission and vision of the organization each day.”