Local student among 141 nationwide to receive presidential scholar award

San Mateo Union High School District officials announced Monday one of their students has been chosen as one of 141 students nationwide to be named a U.S. Presidential Scholar.

Angela Zhang, a senior at San Mateo High School, will receive the prestigious award, administered by the U.S. Department of Education, at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 21, according to the school district.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by President Barack Obama, chose students based on academic success, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals, school district officials said.

"Angela deserves to be a part of this small and elite group of Presidential Scholars," San Mateo High School principal Yvonne Shiu said in a statement. "She is a smart, determined and hard working young woman. To see her grow as a person and student has been an honor."

This year's recipients include one boy and one girl from each state, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and also from U.S. families living abroad. Fifteen students chosen at-large also made the cut, as well as 20 students selected to be U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, school district officials said.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars program was created in 1964 and has honored nearly 7,000 students. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts.
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