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Two Mississippi Students Named 2017 Presidential Scholars

May 9, 2017

JACKSON, Miss – The Mississippi Department of Education announced today that two Mississippi students have been named 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selected Kelly Bates, a senior at West Lauderdale High School, and Braeden Foldenauer, a senior at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, to receive the prestigious award. They are among 161 high school seniors nationwide who were selected on the basis of their accomplishments in many areas – academic and artistic success, leadership, and involvement in school and the community – and represent excellence in education.

“I am proud of our Mississippi scholars and congratulate them for earning this national recognition,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “These students have demonstrated their commitment to leadership, scholarship and excellence, and have established a strong foundation for their college careers.”

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored close to 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

Bates and Foldenauer have been invited to travel to Washington, D.C. in June to participate in the National Recognition Program, which includes the presentation of the Presidential Scholars Medallion during a White House-sponsored ceremony.

Media Contact: 
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR
Director of Communications

Jean Cook, APR
Communications Specialist