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School District Five student named a U.S. Presidential Scholar

For Immediate Release – May 21, 2020



School District Five student named a U.S. Presidential Scholar

IRMO – Dutch Fork High School senior Lauren Chen has been named a U.S. Presidential Scholar.  She is one of 161 high school seniors recognized across the country for their accomplishments in academics, the arts and career and technical education fields.


As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2020 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 U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 Scholars in the Arts and 20 Scholars in Career and Technical Education.


“We are so proud of Lauren and all of her accomplishments,” Dutch Fork High School Principal Dr. Gerald Gary said.  “She continues to be recognized at the state and national level. This confirms that Dutch Fork High School is preparing our students to compete and excel on a national level. Congratulations to her as we know that she will go forward and serve.”


The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.


“Being named U.S. Presidential Scholar is truly a prestigious honor that few students can say they have earned,” School District Five Chief Instructional Officer Michael Guliano said.  “This recognition is a credit to the work that Lauren has done since a young age until now.  Her family has played a large role in her success as well, and we could not be more proud of Lauren as she deserves this award.”


Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 7,500 of the nation's top-performing students with an annual ceremony in Washington, 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.


Unfortunately, given the current situation regarding COVID-19, the scholars will not be honored in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Thus, they will be honored in an online event that is now being planned. 


A complete list of 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars follows and is also available at