Williston Northampton School senior Joshua Calianos has been named a candidate in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. He is one of 4,500 candidates in the country, selected from nearly 3.6 million high school seniors (that’s 0.1 percent).
Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 54th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President to recognize some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership, and service to school and community. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students demonstrating exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. In 2015, the program was expanded once again to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical fields.
Annually, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from among that year’s senior class, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth. All Scholars are invited to Washington, D.C., in June for the National Recognition Program, featuring various events and enrichment activities and culminating in the presentation of the Presidential Scholars Medallion during a White House-sponsored ceremony.
A distinguished panel of educators will review these submissions and select 600 semifinalists in early April. The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the President, will select the finalists, and the U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May.
Scholars will be invited to Washington, D.C., for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities.
Josh is involved in many clubs and activities at Williston, including an upcoming Model UN competition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (he was named “Best Delegate” in last year’s competition). The club he belongs to, the Political Awareness Club, has brought two candidates for Easthampton mayor and a Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate to Williston.