Columbia High School Senior Jacob Silberg has been selected as a 2011 U.S. Presidential Scholar, as announced by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Silberg is one of 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars, which include one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large and 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts.
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars appointed by the President selected the scholars 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.
"The U.S. Presidential Scholars exemplify what dedication to achievement and setting high standards can symbolize for all youth," wrote Duncan in a release. "The Department of Education congratulates these students on their artistic and academic accomplishments."
U.S. Presidential Scholars will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington D.C., from June 18-21.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Silberg. “I want to thank my teachers and my friends, but most of all my parents, who really made this possible.
“Columbia High School helped me become the person that I am. I received strong support and had incredible teachers. But, what I think really makes Columbia special is the diversity of experiences that provides students with a broader perspective and prepares them for life after high school.”
Silberg will attend Harvard University in the fall.
“Jake Silberg is an amazing human being,” said Columbia Principal Dr. Lovie Lilly. “He is an extraordinary student and Columbia High School applauds his accomplishments.”
Each Presidential Scholar has the opportunity to invite his or her most inspiring and challenging teacher to travel to Washington, D.C., to receive a Teacher Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Education and to participate in the recognition events in June. Silberg has invited Dr. Scott Stornetta, CHS math teacher, whose class, Advanced Topics in Math, he is currently taking.
For the past 47 years, this prestigious program has honored more than 6,000 of the nation's top-performing students. Of the three million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 3,000 candidates qualified on the basis of outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, or by nomination through the nationwide YoungArts™ competition conducted by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was created in 1964 to honor academic achievement. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts.