Parishville student named Presidential Scholar

Parishville-Hopkinton Central School senior Leland Blevins has been nominated for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. He’s one of 20 students from New York who were nominated for the honor. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

PARISHVILLE — A Parishville-Hopkinton Central School student is among 20 students from throughout the state who have been nominated for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Leland Blevins was among the New York state high school seniors who were nominated for the Presidential Scholars Program, which is recognized as one of the nation’s highest honors programs for high school students.

State legislators nominate students from their districts, and state Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa, as chief state school officer, chooses 20 nominees to advance to the U.S. Department of Education for the general component. She also selects five students from Career and Technical Education programs.

“I am so proud of these hard-working, talented New York students and I am honored to nominate them for this prestigious program,” Ms. Rosa said in a statement. “They are truly among the best and brightest, and I join our legislators in congratulating all of them on this honor.”

Parishville-Hopkinton Guidance Counselor Melissa Scudder submitted Mr. Blevins’s name for consideration to state Sen. Daniel G. Stec, R-Queensbury.

“It’s pretty pleasing that they did accept him from the nomination for it. He’s a pretty great student,” Ms. Scudder said.

She said Mr. Blevins excels at analyzing problems, which is evident in both his school work and personal life.

Ms. Scudder said that, although the school doesn’t have programs like International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement, it does have several dual credit classes and Mr. Blevins participates in many of those.

“We’re very proud of him,” she said.

Sen. Stec was equally complimentary in forwarding the nomination on to the state Education Department.

“Leland Blevins is a high achiever, a class leader, athlete and all-around great young person who has distinguished himself in countless ways throughout his academic career. He is very deserving of this nomination and the chance to be considered for the 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program next year,” Sen. Stec said in a statement. “I was honored to recommend him and the fact that Leland has already attended some weekend classes at my alma mater, Clarkson University, makes me even happier to support his bid. I join his family, friends and faculty in wishing him well!”

The U.S. Department of Education will issue invitations in late January from among those students nominated by their chief state school officers and from a pool based on scores on the SAT or ACT. Semifinalists will be notified in mid-April and scholars will be notified in May. Students who are selected as U.S. Presidential Scholars receive a medallion.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually 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. Application is by invitation only.

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