Presidential Scholar Candidates Announced

Presidential Scholar Candidates Announced
Posted on 01/31/2019
ASD Presidential Scholar Candidates


Nashua, NH - Four seniors from the Academy for Science and Design Charter School (ASD), a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School, were named as one of the 4,500 candidates in the 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program in an announcement made by the U.S. Department of Education on January 23, 2019. The candidates were selected from nearly 3.6 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2019. The students are Joshua Calzadillas, Kira Gousios and Laurel Nelson of Nashua and Christopher Couto of Londonderry.  ASD Assistant Director Jessica Golden shares, “The Presidential Scholar Award is one of the greatest honors a graduating high school senior can earn. These four young adults are ready to take on higher education with a sense of curiosity, passion, creativity, and tremendous work ethic. Our ASD family is incredibly proud of these students and we have the highest hopes for their futures as STEM innovators, leaders and compassionate members of a global society.”

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 55th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President to recognize some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership, and service to school and community. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students demonstrating exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. In 2015, the program was expanded once again to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical fields. Annually, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from among that year’s senior class, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth. The students have all been notified by and will have until February 26th to submit full applications for the prestigious honor. A distinguished panel of educators will review these submissions and select 600 semifinalists. Semifinalists will be announced on April 17th, and two top students - one male and one female from each state will ultimately be selected on May 7th. All Scholars are invited to Washington, DC June 23rd - 25th for the National Recognition Program, featuring various events and enrichment activities and culminating in the presentation of the Presidential Scholars Medallion during a White House-sponsored ceremony.

Serving as both a public, open-enrollment middle/high school with a STEM-specialty focus, the success of the Academy for Science and Design is based on its commitment to engage a diversity of student learners at both of these levels through an exemplary structure for broadening student access to STEM-focused learning opportunities.  Accordingly, ASD’s program design is focused on providing early exposure to opportunities in STEM that younger students may be unaware of, and then encouraging and supporting those students as they pursue a highly personalized pathway to a specialized STEM field in high school.

The Academy for Science and Design is actively seeking to partner with local companies and businesses for student-centered initiatives such as internships, financial donations, and/or industry professionals to get involved in the school’s program. More information can be found on ASD’s website at, or email Marketing and Communications Coordinator For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars program, please visit

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2019 West Corporation. All rights reserved.