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Mira Costa High Student Named 2015 Presidential Scholar

May 04, 2015 12:57PM, Published by DigMB Staff, Categories: Schools


Julia McDermott



Mira Costa High School student is one of 141 seniors nationwide to be named a Presidential Scholar. Julia McDermott is the first MCHS student to receive the honor since 2011 when Daniel Stanfill was awarded the distinction.

The 2015 Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts. McDermott is a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Daniel was also a Presidential Scholar in the Arts.

“Presidential Scholars demonstrate the accomplishments that can be made when students challenge themselves, set the highest standards, and commit themselves to excellence,” said Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education. “These scholars are poised to make their mark on our nation in every field imaginable: the arts and humanities, science and technology, law and medicine, business and finance, education and government—to name a few. Their academic and artistic achievements reflect a sense of purpose that we should seek to instill in all students to prepare them for college, careers, civic responsibilities, and the challenges of today’s job market.”

Julia is included in the 51st class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, 141 high school seniors who are recognized for their accomplishments in academics or the arts. 

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by President Barack Obama, selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. 

Of the three million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 4,300 candidates qualified for the 2015 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers or the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ competition. YoungArts™, the core program of The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts), nominates up to 60 candidates for consideration as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts following participation in YoungArts™ week. 

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored almost 7,000 of the nation’s top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual ceremony in Washington, D.C. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts.

The 2015 awards ceremony will be held June 21 when each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion.

Read more about Julia in this great La Vista newspaper article by Alexandra Mier y Teran: McDermott sings, dances, acts to the top. La Vista is the award-winning student newspaper at Mira Costa High School.


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