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3 Hawaiʻi students named US Presidential Scholars

J. Scott Applewhite

Three Hawaiʻi high school seniors are being recognized this year for their academic achievements both in and out of the classroom.

Oʻahu's Anabel Kinsey, Holden Michael Schermer and Vaeanui Peck are among 161 students in the country to be included in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize the nation's top high school students.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects candidates annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts. Recipients must also demonstrate a commitment to community service and leadership.

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced the scholars on Wednesday. Nearly 80 local students were nominated for consideration in this year's program. Nine were selected as semifinalists for the honor.

Kinsey and Schermer attend ʻIolani School in Honolulu. They received recognition for their academic achievements.

Peck is a senior at Kahuku High School on Oʻahu, and was awarded for her efforts in career and technical education — a category that only recognizes up to 20 students.

“It's always validating to see our Hawai‘i public school students recognized for their outstanding achievements and for our schools to be elevated on a national scale," said Keith Hayashi, DOE superintendent, about Peck.

More than 8,000 students have been recognized from every state in the program's 59-year history.

Peck, Kinsey and Schermer will be acknowledged for their achievements this summer with an online recognition ceremony.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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