Three Missouri Seniors Named U.S. Presidential Scholars


Three Missouri high school seniors are among only 141 in the country being honored by the White House Commission as Presidential Scholars for their academic achievement:

  • Rujie Yao, Columbia, Rock Bridge High School
  • Eric H. Lee, Weldon Spring, Francis Howell High School in St. Charles
  • Jonathan D. Chu, Kansas City, The Pembroke Hill School

The winners have been invited to attend National Recognition Weekend in June in Washington, D.C., where they will be awarded the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion. The three were chosen from among eight Missouri semifinalists.

"Congratulations to these three outstanding Missouri high school seniors," said Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro. "Their commitment to excellence is a model for all students in the state."

Established in 1964 by executive order of the President, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes some of America’s most outstanding seniors. The program was expanded in 1979 to include students who demonstrate exceptional scholarship and talent in visual arts, performing arts and creative writing.

Application is by invitation only, based on student scores on the SAT or ACT exam or nomination by a Chief State School Officer.