Two Alaska students recognized as Presidential Scholars

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Two Alaskan students have been recognized as part of the 2020 Class of Presidential Scholars. The Alaskans are Grace J. Park from Fairbanks and Gavin Lee Block from Palmer.

A total of 161 high school seniors are part of this year’s class. According to a release from the U.S. Department of Education, students are recognized “for their accomplishments in academics, the arts and career, and technical education fields.” More than 5,300 candidates qualified for the 2020 awards.

“These exemplary young people have excelled inside the classroom and out,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said of the 56th class of Presidential Scholars. “And, while they are facing unprecedented challenges as they graduate from high school into a world that looks much different than it did just a few months ago, their determination, resilience, and commitment to excellence will serve them well as they pursue their next steps.”

Since it was created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 7,600 of the nation’s students. “The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts,” says the statement. “In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.”

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer, as public health circumstances permit.

Find a complete list of 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars here

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