Damm, he’s smart
Saskatoon Damm named candidate in Presidential Scholars Program
Saskatoon Damm, a graduating senior at Medford Area Senior High School, has been named one of more than 5,000 candidates in the 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The candidates were selected from nearly 3.6 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2023.
Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President to recognize some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership, and service to school and community. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students demonstrating exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. In 2015, the program was expanded once again to recognize students who demonstrate ability and See MEDFORD on page 4 accomplishment in career and technical fields. Annually, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from among that year’s senior class, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth.
A distinguished panel of educators will review these submissions and select approximately 600 semifinalists in early April. The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the President, will select the finalists, and the U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May.
U.S. Presidential Scholars are honored for their accomplishments during the National Recognition Program each June. To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars are awarded the Presidential Scholars Medallion.
Saskatoon Damm is the child of Tammy Williams and Fuzz (Robert) Damm of Medford.
The United States Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by Executive Order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our Nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the Program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named U.S. Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students. The Scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people. In honoring the U.S. Presidential Scholars, the President of the United States symbolically honors all graduating high school seniors of high potential.
Students have the opportunity to become U.S. Presidential Scholars based on three paths of accomplishment. The majority of the Scholars are selected on the basis of broad academic achievement. Approximately twenty students are selected on the basis of their academic and artistic scholarship in the visual arts, the performing arts, or creative writing. And, approximately twenty additional students are selected on the basis of their ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.
Each year over 5,000 candidates are identified for the component of the program that focuses on academic achievement and based on having scored exceptionally well on the SAT or the ACT. Eligible students are U.S. citizens and legal permanent U.S. residents graduating or receiving a diploma between January and August of the current program year, who have taken the SAT or ACT Assessment on or before the preceding October. The highest test score (from a single test administration) is identified. We do not use superscores. The scores associated with the top 20 male examinees and top 20 female examinees are used to select candidates from each state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and from families of U.S. citizens living abroad. A universal score is determined for both males and females from that state. Students meeting these requirements are automatically considered for participation. Initial inclusion in the pool of eligible candidates is determined by the information (e.g. graduation year) provided by the student on his/her SAT or ACT test registration. Also, each Chief State School Officer (CSSO) may nominate ten male and ten female candidates based on their outstanding scholarship, residing in the CSSO’s jurisdiction. Additionally, the program is partnering with several recognition organizations that will each nominate up to 40 candidates from their individual programs.
Candidacy materials are mailed to students for participation in the program. Application is by invitation only; students do not apply individually to the program, nor do their schools nominate them.
For the arts component of the Program, students are initially selected based on their artistic excellence. Students must apply to YoungArts, The National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists annual competition, be named a YoungArts winner at the finalist level and participate in YoungArts Week. YoungArts nominates 60 students who meet the U.S. Presidential Scholars candidacy requirements. Candidacy materials are mailed to those selected students, inviting them to apply to the program.
For the career and technical education component of the Program, students are initially selected based on their accomplishments in career and technical education fields. Students are nominated through their Chief State School Officer. Each CSSO can nominate up to five candidates who meet the U.S. Presidential Scholars candidacy requirements. Candidacy materials are mailed to the selected students, and they are invited to apply to the program.
To confirm their interest and assist in the selection process, all candidates complete and submit candidacy materials for review, including essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports and transcripts. A review committee of qualified individuals experienced in secondary and post-secondary education evaluates candidates on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and the quality and content of their essay.
Approximately 600 candidates are named semifinalists, and their names and supporting materials are forwarded to the Commission for further review.
In April, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars reviews the applications of all semifinalists, applying the same criteria used by the review committee. The Commission selects up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars each year.
U.S. Presidential Scholars are honored for their accomplishments during the online National Recognition Program #PSP23 each June. To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars are awarded the Presidential Scholars Medallion.
Since 1964, this unique federal program has honored over 8,000 U.S. Presidential Scholars, who have demonstrated scholarship, leadership, artistic excellence and selfless service to others. The work of the Commission on Presidential Scholars, on behalf of the President and his Administration, reflects recognition of the immense value and potential of our Nation’s youth, and a deep commitment to ensuring that every child in America receives the benefits of a world-class education.