SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaska’s Presidential Scholars Announced
Senator Praises the Excellence of High Schoolers, Teachers Named


May 03, 2012

(SitNews) WASHINGTON, D.C. – Alaskan high school seniors Alec P. Pankow of Ketchikan and Brigit M. Noon of Fairbanks were named as U.S. President Scholars Wednesday by U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. 

"Honoring Presidential Scholars is an important celebration of students showing the dedication, creativity and ambition to become future leaders," Duncan said. "As national, state and local leaders work side by side with principals, teachers, and parents to make our schools better, we can learn from the students all around us whose hard work and accomplishments embody the kind of excellence we want every child to achieve."

In response to the news, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski said in a prepared statement, “Now more than ever, high school students have competing priorities, pressures and interests – not to mention added distractions their parents didn’t have.  That’s why we should especially congratulate Brigit and Alec today as being among only 141 students across the nation to have achieved this honor.  I also encourage each of them to take this recognition as a springboard to even greater heights and hope that they will contribute their talents to our state.  I look forward to meeting them when they come to Washington, D.C. for the awards ceremony.”

Alec P. Pankow is a graduating senior from Ketchikan High School and Brigit M. Noon is a graduating senior from West Valley High School in Fairbanks.

Each scholar nominates their most influential teacher to win the Teacher Recognition Award.  Pankow chose Rebecca Bowlen, who teaches English, Folklore and Drama at Ketchikan High School. Noon selected West Valley High School English teacher Carrier Heimer.

“Nearly every one of us can immediately call to mind the teacher’s name who inspired us and pushed us to be better than we thought ourselves capable,” added Murkowski. “I congratulate and honor Ms. Heimer and Mrs. Bowlen for playing that role in the education of these seniors.”

Duncan announced the 48th class of Presidential Scholars, recognizing 141 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics or the arts. The 2012 Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large and 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by President Obama, selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the three million students nationwide expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 3,300 candidates qualified for the 2012 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers or the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts nationwide YoungArts™ competition.

Since its creation by Executive Order in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 6,000 graduating high school seniors for academic excellence, artistic accomplishments, and civic contributions.  In addition to achieving outstanding scores on the SAT or ACT assessments, applicants are further evaluated on the basis of school reports and transcripts, leadership activities, and contributions to family, school and community.  

The 2012 ceremony will be held June 16, when each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion.


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


On the Web:

Complete list of winners nationwide
Click here 



Source of News: 

U.S. Department of Education

Office of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

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