05-24-18 Eight FFA Members Named to the 54th Class of U.S. Presidential Scholars

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Eight FFA Members Named to the 54th Class of U.S. Presidential Scholars

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, May 24, 2018/National FFA Organization) – Eight FFA members were recently named U.S. Presidential Scholars—one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students—for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education. Each year, up to 161 students receive this honor. Overall, eight FFA members were named as 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars.

The FFA members named as scholars are:

  • Michael Z. Chen of Newark, Del., member of Newark High School FFA Chapter
  • Connor K. Erbsen of Lanark, Ill., member of Eastland FFA Chapter
  • Lane Hilgenhold of Tell City, Ind., member of Perry Central FFA Chapter
  • Caleb L. Lines of Nashua, Iowa, member of the Nashua-Plainfield FFA Chapter
  • Caitlin Henne of Eaton Rapids, Mich., member of the Springport FFA Chapter
  • Tyler Noyes of Toston, Mont., member of the Broadway FFA Chapter
  • Brianna D. Maddock of Davenport, N.D., member of the  Kindred FFA Chapter
  • Bridger J. Gordon of Whitewood, S.D., member of the Sturgis FFA Chapter

Established in 1964 by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson, the U.S. Presidential Scholars program was created with the intent to recognize the nation’s most distinguished high school graduating seniors. In 2015, the program was expanded to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education.

The 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of two students from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and from U.S., families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large. There are also 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.

Overseen by the Commission on Presidential Scholars, the program is administered by staff at the U.S. Department of Education. The commission selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service and leadership.

Each honoree is invited to attend a recognition program to be held on June 24 in Washington, D.C.

“This recognition demonstrates the students’ ability to balance their academic work while making a positive difference in their schools and communities,” said National FFA Advisor, Dr. Steve Brown. “As an FFA member, these students went above and beyond expectations that are set. They are living out the mission and vision of the organization each day.”

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 653,359 student members who belong to one of 8,568 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 344,239 alumni members in 2,051 alumni chapters throughout the U.S.

About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 653,359 student members as part of 8,568 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is supported by 344,239 alumni members in 2,051 local FFA Alumni chapters throughout the U.S. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org and on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.

About National FFA Foundation
The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agricultural education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees composed of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA Alumni, the foundation is a separately registered nonprofit organization. About 82 percent of every dollar received by the foundation supports FFA members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit FFA.org/Give.