Seven Cherokee County School District Class of 2021 seniors have been named candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Presidential Scholars “are among the 4,000 best and brightest of the more than 3 million graduating seniors in the nation’s Class of 2021 and now have the opportunity to advance in the academic competition,” Cherokee County School District Director of Communications Barbara Jacoby said Tuesday.

They Cherokee County candidates are: of Creekview High School, Nathan Davis and Koryn Todd; of River Ridge High School, Reilly Amason, Nicholas Audinet and Annelise Axelsson; of Sequoyah High School, Jeremy Jeong; and of Woodstock High School, Sophia Abbott.

“We’re incredibly proud of these students for their academic achievement and this national recognition they have earned,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We look forward to seeing these students advance in the competition and will be rooting for them to earn the highest honors.”

The program was established in 1964 by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson to honor and recognize extraordinary graduating seniors. Candidates for the invitation-only recognition program are primarily selected based on outstanding performance on the ACT or SAT standardized tests.

The next level of recognition is semi-finalist, and the pool of candidates will be narrowed as the applications they are required to submit are reviewed for overall academic excellence, personal character, leadership and service activities. Additional recognition is awarded to students who excel in the arts or in career and technical education. Axelsson is a candidate for the CTE honor. Last school year, 700 Scholars semi-finalists were named, and from that group, only 161 students were honored as Scholars finalists. Scholars receive national recognition and are invited on an all-expenses paid trip to the White House.

The students also will be congratulated during a virtual recognition by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the board’s Feb. 11 meeting.

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