Makayla Maisey and Adam Skelton named 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars


May 23, 2017


FOR RELEASE Media Contact: Press Office

May 5, 2017



Program Contact: Simone Olson





U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the selection of Makayla Maisey of
Dimond High School and Adam Skelton of South High School, as 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars.
Maisey and Skelton are two of 161 outstanding American high school seniors who have
demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service, and
contribution to school and community. The U.S. Presidential Scholars will be honored for their
accomplishments in Washington D.C., from June 18-20.


"I congratulate this year's class of Presidential Scholars for their devotion to academic excellence
and their parents and teachers who have guided them along the way,” said U.S. Secretary of Education
Betsy DeVos. “Today's Presidential Scholars are tomorrow's leaders, and I am confident they will
continue to be shining examples as they enter the next phase of their academic careers.”


The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars 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 3.5
million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,100 candidates qualified for
the 2017 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and
through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations or the
National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ competition.


The 2017 U.S. 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, 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in
Career and Technical Education.


Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 7,000 of the
nation’s top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual
ceremony in D.C. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional
talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize
students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.


Since 1983, each U.S. Presidential Scholar has been offered the opportunity to name his or her
most influential teacher. Each distinguished teacher is honored with a personal letter from the Secretary of

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