Three MCPS students have been named Presidential Scholars, one of the highest honors given to high school seniors in the United States.
Christopher L. Guo, a student at Thomas S. Wootton High School, is among 121 national academic scholars chosen for their exceptional performance on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), school transcripts, student essays, self-assessments and description of activities.
Christopher N. Baily, a Montgomery Blair High School student who studies at the Visual Art Center housed at Albert Einstein High School, and Evan M. Goldman, a student at Walt Whitman High School, were among only 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts, who were selected for their accomplishments in the arts and for meeting the academic standards as well.
Guo also was selected to receive a $2,000 National Merit Scholarship last month, and was named a finalist in the Maryland Distinguished Scholar Program earlier this year. He intends to study biochemistry at Harvard University.
Baily and Goldman, both visual artists, advanced to the Presidential Scholar Program after their strong performance in the Annual Arts Recognition and Talent Search (ARTS), one of the most prestigious art competitions for high school seniors in the nation. The two local students are among only four student visual artists in the nation selected to receive Presidential Scholar in the Arts awards.
The selection of Baily and Goldman also furthers the impressive records of their art teachers Oroon Barnes of the Visual Art Center and Walter Bartman of Whitman, respectively, both of whom have had numerous students win Presidential Scholar in the Arts awards and an array of other national distinctions.
Both art students also were finalists in the talent category of the Maryland Distinguished Scholar Program.
Baily intends to major in art at Cornell University, and Goldman plans to study painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, a 32 member panel appointed by President Clinton, selected the Presidential Scholars from 547 semifinalists, who were in turn chosen from among 2.5 million graduating high school seniors. The commission chose one young man and one young women from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the territories and U.S. students living abroad and 15 students at-large for the academic awards; and up to 20 students from the creative and performing arts for the art awards.
Two other local students were semifinalists for the honor: Elaine A. Kim of Montgomery Blair High School and Aaron M. Tievsky of Walt Whitman High School.
In total, Maryland had three academic scholars and four scholars in the arts.
The program also will honor the educators identified by the scholars as being the most influential in their academic or artistic achievement. Guo selected John Lilga, a former chemistry teacher who retired from Wootton last year; Baily chose Oroon Barnes, visual art teacher and supervisor of the Visual Art Center at Einstein; and Goldman selected Walter Bartman, studio art teacher at Whitman. As Distinguished Teachers, these instructors will receive a certificate of excellence from the United States Department of Education in a special reception in Washington, D.C. and will participate in a White House ceremony for the scholars.