Six seniors from four Weber County high schools have been named candidates in a U.S. Department of Education program to recognize the nation’s top students.
The six – from Weber, Fremont and Ogden high schools as well as the Utah Military Academy in Riverdale – are among nearly 5,000 applicants identified in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program in total across the country. Seventy-one of the total are from Utah.
Ultimately, the ranks of applicants will be narrowed to 161 students, who will be named U.S. Presidential Scholars in an announcement expected in May. “Scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people,” reads the program’s website.
The six Weber County Schools students are Lucy Ballad and Bradyn Reeves from Ogden High School, Fisher Cooper and Wyatt Smith from Fremont High School, Cecilia Hoyt from Utah Military Academy, and Camryn Sheen from Weber High School.
Sheen describes herself as “a passionate, driven high school student who will change the world,” according to her resume. She has a 4.0 grade point average, attends advanced and specialist classes, and is involved in a range of clubs, including speaking and debating. She competed in cross country, track and field, wrestling and lacrosse.
Reeves is taking International Baccalaureate classes, is an Eagle Scout, competed on the high school swim team, and is active in church activities. He hopes to complete a computer-aided design course at Ogden-Weber Technical College and plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at Utah State University.
Ballad is involved in school and community service activities. She founded the Junior Junior League of Ogden to promote voluntary activity, is active in church youth activities and has taken part in many other service activities. She played basketball in high school and is active in student government. Academically, she has taken honors, advanced internships, and International Baccalaureate courses, maintaining a GPA of 3.985.
Hoyt participates in the CyberPatriot e-education program at school and competes on her school’s archery and women’s soccer teams. She was co-captain this school year in the football team. Outside of school, she is active in Job’s Daughters International, a Masonry-affiliated youth group.
Cooper takes many graduate-level courses and maintains a 3.9 GPA. He is also passionate about the performing arts. “When you strive to overcome difficult things, you learn that you can really do them,” he said.
Smith, with a 3.9 GPA, is active in his school’s automotive program and performing arts department. He is passionate about the field of auto mechanics and hopes to attend WyoTech in Laramie, Wyoming after graduation. He was pleasantly surprised to learn that he had been nominated for the program.
According to the US Presidential Scholars Program website, applicants are selected largely on the basis of ACT and SAT scores. The approximately 161 scholars selected each year receive a U.S. Presidential Scholars Medallion each June.