Feb 6, 2018

Pickerington North Senior Named U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Candidate

Haley Staudmyer, chosen candidate for the US Scholars Program

In 1964, the United States Presidential Scholars Program was created by the president to honor the most distinguished graduating high school seniors in the country.

Each year, around 4,500 students are identified as candidates for the part of the program that focuses on distinguishing academic achievement based on outstanding ACT or SAT scores.

Of those, the program awards up to 161 distinguished scholars who will be honored and recognized at The White House in June.

Haley Staudmyer, graduating senior at Pickerington High School North, was chosen as one of the 4,500 exclusive candidates. “I was extremely honored,” Staudmyer said. She didn’t quite believe she was a candidate until she saw her name on the official list. Staudmyer scored a composite 36 on her ACT last April.

Chosen candidates do not apply to the scholars program, nor do their schools nominate them. In order to be named a candidate and to continue the extensive process to become a finalist, students must be invited. Becoming a finalist is one of the highest honors awarded to high school seniors.

The program also recognizes achievements like, artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

Staudmyer plays the alto saxophone in North’s marching and symphonic bands and she has also been a member of the leadership team for marching band for the past two years.

Last November, Staudmyer was featured in the Columbus Dispatch when she spoke directly to EPA representatives at a public hearing on the repeal of the Clean Power Plan in Charleston, W. Va. She also played a significant role in getting the AP Environmental Science class offered at North this year. She considers it one of her favorite courses.

“I am extremely passionate about climate change,” said Staudmyer. “It is is one of the most important issues for my generation to find a solution for, so I hope to learn much more about it as I continue my education.”

Staudmyer has applied to seven different colleges but her plan right now is to double major in atmospheric sciences and mathematics at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The next step for candidates involves an extensive application that will be reviewed by a panel of distinguished educators. They will then select 600 semi-finalists.

In the final round, the Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of 32 people chosen by the president, will select the official U.S. Presidential Scholars. The U.S. Department of Education will announce the finalists in May.

The achievement of being announced as a candidate means a lot to Staudmyer, even though there are still two more rounds to go.

“It’s great to see my hard work throughout my academic career finally paying off. Even if I don’t end up being a semifinalist or finalist, it’s still an achievement I can be proud of,” Staudmyer said.