Five FFA members were recently named U.S. Presidential Scholars — one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students — for their academic accomplishments, the arts, and career and technical education. Each year, up to 161 students receive this honor.
The FFA members named as scholars are:
*Madison G. Echols of Hattiesburg, Miss., a student at Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science.
*Isabella Mackenzie Herrod of Shinnston, W. Va., a student at Liberty High School.
*Hannah N. Rice of Brunswick, Mo., a student at Brunswick R-Li High School.
*Cecelia Ann Rogers of Bardstown, Ky., a student at Nelson County High School.
*Alaina Marie Whittington of Diagnol, Iowa, a student at Diagonal Junior-Senior High School.
Established in 1964 by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson, the U.S. Presidential Scholars program was created to recognize the nation’s most distinguished high school graduating seniors. In 2015, the program was expanded to recognize students demonstrating ability and accomplishment in career and technical education.
The 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars comprise two students from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at large. There are also 20 scholars in the arts and 20 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.
“We are immensely proud of this accomplishment for these five FFA members,” said National FFA CEO Scott Stump. “This recognition demonstrates the students’ abilities to excel academically while making a positive difference in their schools and communities. As FFA members, these students have gone above and beyond set expectations. They live out the organization’s mission and vision daily.”
The Presidential Scholars Class of 2023 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program.
The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 850,000 student members as part of 8,995 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.