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Three DCSD students nominated for U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

CASTLE ROCK – Students from Douglas County, Mountain Vista and Rock Canyon high schools have been nominated as candidates for the 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars is one of the Nation's highest honors for high school students. In fact, only 141 students may receive this honor every year.

The program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts.  

The Scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people. In honoring the U.S. Presidential Scholars, the President of the United States symbolically honors all graduating high school seniors of high potential.

The process begins with the selection of approximately 3,000 academic candidates based on SAT and ACT scores.

Every January, about 20 males and twenty females from each state are selected as candidates for the award. This year, three DCSD students were selected as candidates:

Shawn Ong
Douglas County High School

Julie E. Newman
Mountain Vista High School

Benjamin T. King
Rock Canyon High School

A review committee of qualified individuals experienced in secondary and post-secondary education evaluates candidates on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and an analysis of their essay. Approximately 560 candidates are named semifinalists and forwarded to the Commission for further review. All arts nominees submitting candidacy materials are automatically advanced to the semifinalist stage.

In April, the Commission on Presidential Scholars reviews the applications of all semifinalists based on the same criteria used by the review committee.

The Commission selects up to 121 academic scholars and up to 20 arts scholars. All scholars are honored for their accomplishments during National Recognition Weekend, held in June in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Presidential Scholars are guests of the Commission during National Recognition Weekend and enjoy an expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other accomplished people. During the weekend, scholars have the opportunity to visit museums and monuments, and to attend recitals, receptions and ceremonies. To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars are awarded the U.S. Presidential Scholars medalion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.

In 2013, Highlands Ranch High School’s Amy Chen was one of the two Colorado graduates selected for the honor.

Learn more about the US Presidential Scholars Program at

January 26, 2014 | By rmbarber | Category:

District News

On February 9 the PACE Center hosted Portfolio Day for students like Sladovnik. It was an opportunity for critiques from working professional artists, and workshops. It culminates in the "Bright Futures" art exhibit - a showcase of selected work on display February 16-27.

Last month, the Board of Education passed a resolution tasking the Superintendent to convene a task force inclusive of members of the general public and staff members. This task force will develop a survey for parents of students eligible for special education services and a survey for staff members who serve students eligible for special education services.

Board members sitting at the dais

CASTLE ROCK - On February 6, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education confirmed its commitment to begin the process of seeking approval from voters for additional local funding.

“Our children need a bond and mill levy override (MLO) to be passed in 2018, beyond any doubt,” said DCSD Board of Education President David Ray. “We want to move forward immediately with the necessary processes and collaboration with our community in order to finalize a formal funding package.”