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21 Utah County students named US Presidential Scholar candidates

By Ashtyn Asay - | Jan 29, 2022
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Tyler Larsen, Presidential Scholar Candidate from Salem Hills High School. Larsen is joined by 20 other Utah County students as candidates.
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Amelia Lebaron, a Presidential Scholar Candidate from American Fork High School. Lebaron is joined by 20 other Utah County students as candidates.

This week, 21 Utah County students were named as candidates for the 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

The Presidential Scholars Program recognizes high school seniors who exceed in academics, the arts, or career and technical education (CTE) and is one of the highest honors high school students can receive.

“The Scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people,” reads the U.S. Department of Education website.”In honoring the U.S. Presidential Scholars, the President of the United States symbolically honors all graduating high school seniors of high potential.”

Application for the Presidential Scholars Program is by invitation only, so students cannot apply individually. Instead, they are nominated by their Chief State School Officer or an organization partnered with the program, such as YoungArts.

Tyler Larsen, a Presidential Scholar candidate from Salem Hills High School, qualified for the program for both his academics and his achievements in CTE programs.

“It’s obviously a huge honor for me, and I am so excited to be a part of it,” Larsen said.

Larson accredited much of his success to Aubrey Turnbow, a college and career specialist at Salem Hills High School.

“I’m so grateful to my CTE coordinator Mrs. Turnbow and just everyone who has helped me to learn and grow to the point where I can be in this position and be ready for this nomination,” Larsen said. “I think that Nebo School District is fantastic and I honestly chalk up a lot of my success … to Nebo School District.”

Amelia Lebaron, a candidate from American Fork High School, qualified for the program based on her academic achievements. Lebaron was excited to find out she was a Presidential Scholar Candidate, and is grateful to her school counselor for the nomination.

“The person who nominated me, my high school counselor, has been very beneficial to me,” Lebaron said. “She’s always looking out for scholarships and fun classes that she thinks I would enjoy and benefit from.”

To qualify to be a candidate in the program, students must be U.S. citizens or legal residents, graduate or receive a diploma between January and August 2022, score exceptionally well on the ACT or SAT, or demonstrate talent in the arts, or academic achievement in ACT programs.

Semifinalists will be selected from all of the candidates nationwide in April, and the names of the final 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be announced in May.

The 2022 Utah County U.S. Presidential Scholar candidates are, in alphabetical order:

Matthew J. Argyle, Provo — Timpview High School

Carter Baxter, Orem — Utah County Academy of Sciences

Sarah J. Burt, Provo — Timpview High School

James Camacho, Provo — Timpview High School

Joseph A. Camacho, Provo — Timpview High School

Samuel Chilton, Alpine — Unknown High School

Andrew H. Conley, Highland — Lone Peak High School

Alexander M. Croft, Orem — Timpanogos High School

Annalise Drewes, Provo — Timpview High School

Spencer Foster, Lehi — Lehi High School

Nicolas Goncalves, Eagle Mountain — Utah Military Academy

Andrew P. Jenkins, Provo — Timpview High School

Adam S. Johnson, American Fork — American Heritage School

Tyler R. Larsen, Woodland Hills — Salem Hills High School

Amelia Lebaron, Cedar Hills — American Fork High School

Summer A. Moulder, Pleasant Grove — Pleasant Grove High School

Jaroldeen M. Oveson, Provo — Timpview High School

Grace Parsons, Salem — Merit Prep Academy

Spencer Smart, American Fork — American Fork High School

Mercy E. Smith, Provo – Timpview High School

Kelly M. Taylor, Provo – Timpview High School

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