Two Missouri Seniors Named U.S. Presidential Scholars


Two Missouri high school seniors have been honored by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars.

Tiffany Lee, a student at Lindbergh High School in St. Louis, and Corey M. Matzat, a student at Branson High School, were named 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars for their academic achievement. They 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.

"This award is one of the nation's highest honors for high school students," said Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro. "As two of our state's most accomplished seniors, I commend these students for their commitment to their education."

Established in 1964, 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.

Of the three million students nationwide expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 3,300 candidates qualified for the 2013 awards based on their performance on the SAT and ACT exams and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers and the National YoungArts Foundation. About 550 students were selected as semifinalists.

One young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and from U.S. families living abroad and 15 students chosen at large were named U.S. Presidential Scholars. An additional 20 students were named U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

Other Missouri semifinalists for the award were:

  • Josiah W. Baker, Blue Springs South High School
  • Slava S. Butkovich, Blue Springs High School
  • Kelly C. Hatfield, John Burroughs School, St. Louis
  • Sarah M. Koch,  The Pembroke Hill School, Kansas City
  • Hughes Lee, Jefferson City High School
  • Spenser T. Pulleyking, Central High School, Springfield
  • Daniel Y. Shyu, David H. Hickman High School, Columbia
  • Yuxuan Xiao, Liberty High School

For a complete list of the 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars or for more information about the Presidential Scholars Program, visit