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Allison Wood, a senior at Bryan Station High School, is among Kentucky’s three Presidential Scholars for 2012 – one of the country’s greatest accolades for high school students.
“I was really excited and surprised, and I’m really looking forward to going to D.C. this summer,” she said Wednesday after learning of her selection.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the 48th class of recipients May 2, recognizing 141 seniors for their accomplishments in academics or the arts. Kentucky’s other scholars are from Louisville and Lewisport.
The students will travel to Washington, D.C., for several days of educational, celebratory and fellowship activities. Each also may invite his or her most inspiring and challenging teacher to the June 16 awards ceremony.
“I’m part of the Spanish Immersion program, and Luis Castrillon has taught me since sixth grade and been a really influential person in my life,” Allison said of her faculty choice.
Allison is a member of Bryan Station’s Key Club and Young Democrats, among other school groups, and she plays in numerous ensembles including the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra. She also translates material into Spanish for various community organizations. She plans to attend Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh to study computer science.
All graduating seniors who are U.S. citizens and have scored exceptionally well on either the SAT or the ACT are automatically considered for participation in the Presidential Scholars Program, which was established in 1964. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts.
Of the 3 million students expected to graduate this year, more than 3,300 candidates qualified for the awards 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.
Other FCPS candidates were Rachel Geil and Patrick Lutz of Henry Clay High; Robert Cass of Lafayette; and Erin Anderson, Grant Boggess, Todd Montgomery, Alexander Petros, Qi Yu and Christina Zhang of Paul Laurence Dunbar High. Rachel also was a semifinalist.