News Releases

Four Mississippi Public School Students Selected as 2018 Presidential Scholar Semifinalists

by Gary Ragsdale | May 01, 2018


Carey M. Wright, Ed.D., State Superintendent of Education

Office of Communications & Legislative Support

Patrice Guilfoyle, APR, Director of Communications *601-359-3706
Jean Cook, APR, Communications Specialist *601-359-3519


For Immediate Release: May 1, 2018

Four Mississippi Public School Students Selected as 2018 Presidential Scholar Semifinalists

JACKSON, Miss – The Mississippi Department of Education announced today that four Mississippi public school students have been selected semifinalists for the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program honors the nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors.

Mississippi’s Presidential Scholar semifinalists for 2018 include:

  • Richard H. Grimes, Germantown High School, Madison County School District
  • Herleen Kaur, Clinton High School, Clinton Public School District
  • Wei Li, Vancleave High School, Jackson County School District
  • Darryl A. Skinner, Pass Christian High School, Pass Christian School District

Mississippi’s semifinalists were selected from among 5,300 candidates nationwide. A total of 630 high school seniors were selected as semifinalists for 2018. These students form the pool from which the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be chosen.

The 2018 Presidential Scholars will be 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 incredibly proud of our Mississippi semifinalists and congratulate them for earning this national recognition,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Our schools have done an outstanding job helping these students reach their greatest potential, and I look forward to seeing what these future leaders accomplish after high school.”

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


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