Local students among Presidential scholars

A number of local students were selected as 2011 Presidential scholars.

Clara H. McCreery from Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md., was chosen along with fellow Maryland high school seniors Sandra C. Yan of Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring and Nathan X. Chai, who is home schooled in Ellicott City, southwest of Baltimore. Montgomery Blair can boast two students receiving the prestigious award: The second one is Eli M. Okun.

From Virginia, Anna E. Knight from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, and Jason Y. Kong of the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Richmond will receive the award. From the capital, Lara Mitra of Sidwell Friends School was selected.

Scholars will be honored in Washington from June 18-21. They invite their most inspiring and challenging teachers to accompany them to the events.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the 141 outstanding high school seniors Monday. One young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad were chosen, as well as 15 students at-large and 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts. A White House commission appointed by the President selected the scholars based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts. They also considered community service, leadership, and “demonstrated commitment to high ideals,” according to Duncan’s statement.