Clear Lake High valedictorian Denise Kwong has been named a 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholar, Clear Creek ISD announced as Kwong was busy making graduation plans.
Only 141 seniors earned this honor with one young man and one young woman chosen 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 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts. Kwong is one of three Presidential Scholars selected from Texas.
Earlier this spring, Kwong was honored by the Clear Creek Board of Trustees for making a perfect score of 36 on the ACT college admissions exam.
The high school senior credits her most influential teacher as Susan Heep, a Clear Lake High World History and AP European History teacher. Kwong is part of the 51st class of U.S. Presidential Scholars. A ceremony will be held June 21 in Washington D.C. where each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized the 141 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics or the arts: “These scholars are poised to make their mark on our nation in every field imaginable: the arts and humanities, science and technology, law and medicine, business and finance, education and government—to name a few. Their academic and artistic achievements reflect a sense of purpose that we should seek to instill in all students to prepare them for college, careers, civic responsibilities, and the challenges of today’s job market.”
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 expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 4,300 candidates qualified for the 2015 awards.