Local news- Press Release
Plymouth-Canton Community Schools Pl - P CCS SUCCESS Canton High School Senior Claire Swadling Named 2022 U . S . Presidential Scholar 23 May 2022 ( news )
Plymouth-Canton Community Schools , state Pl ( By Press Release office)
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Like most of us , Canton High School senior Claire Swadling starts her mornings getting up to speed by checking her email .
On a recent weekend , however , Swadling ' s email contained a message that only she and 160 other students out of the roughly 3 . 7 million expected Class of 2022 high school graduates nationwide would receive:
She was a 2022 U . S . Presidential Scholar .
I immediately screamed , Swadling said . Then I ran downstairs to tell my mom , and
screamed! I had known about this program for a long time , and hoped I would be nominated , but I never had any hopes of getting past the semifinal stage . To have [gotten the award] is surreal . I still can ' t really believe it .
Given the ultra - competitive nature of the award , screams of happiness from Swadling and her mother are a fitting response . The scholarship program , which was established by Executive Order of President Lyndon B . Johnson in 1964 , recognizes one young man and one young woman from each state , the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico , and U . S . families living abroad for their academic achievement , artistic excellence , technical expertise , leadership , citizenship , service , and contribution to school and community . Those 106 state and territory winners join 15 chosen at - large , 20 Scholars in the arts and 20 Scholars in career and technical education in receiving the prestigious honor .
“Our 2022 Presidential Scholars represent the best of America , and remind us that when empowered by education , there are no limits to what our young people can achieve , said U . S . Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a statement announcing Swadling ' s honor . Today , I join President Biden to celebrate a class of scholars whose pursuit of knowledge , generosity of spirit , and exceptional talents bring our nation tremendous pride . Throughout one of the most trying periods in our nation’s history and amid our recovery from the pandemic , our students have once again demonstrated their strength and that they have so much to contribute to our country . Thanks to them , I know America ' s future is bright .
Swadling ' s path to the award saw her first be nominated as one of 5 , 000 candidates who entered the competition through either outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by chief state school officers , other partner recognition organizations , and the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists . Her application was rigorous , and included essay topics and questions designed to make nominees think outside the box . One such prompt asked students to submit an image that described them . Swadling offered a unique answer , but one that is indicative of her hopes for her future .
I attached a picture of various types of cheeses , she said . I talked about how I wanted to be like cheese and get better with age , as opposed to crackers , which get stale over time .
For the record , if Swadling
a cheese , she says she ' d be mozzarella - - it ' s versatile and good on pizza .
As Swadling prepares to leave P - CEP - - with a 4 . 38 grade point average , and a place waiting for her at Harvard University - - she reflected on her decision to attend high school at P - CEP rather than other private or charter options . She says the P - CEP environment offered her a diversity that has prepared her for life at Harvard .
At the end of middle school , my mom was asking me if I wanted to go to a private school or a boarding school , but I really wanted to [learn at P - CEP] to encounter a lot of people with different perspectives than me , and I felt like if I went [elsewhere] , the experience would be a lot more homogeneous , she said . Between the IB academy I was a part of , and the Arts Academy , and STEM , the resources at the Park are really astounding . Even if you don ' t take part in those , there are so many academic options and extra - curricular activities and sports teams . There was more than enough variety to keep me here . . . I really enjoyed P - CEP .
Since 1983 , each U . S . Presidential Scholar has also 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 Education . The teacher chosen for recognition by Swadling was Canton High School ' s Karen Ludema . Swadling also credited Canton social studies teacher Richard Mui , who she called one of her biggest cheerleaders an and an influence as he considers studying history in College , and Scott Obsniuk , who guided her through extra - curricular pursuits and education in computer science .
Most years , scholars would be given the opportunity to meet with the sitting President in person . This year ' s ceremony , however will see winners recognized at a virtual event .
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