Norwalk Student Named Presidential Scholar Candidate

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Several Fairfield County students have been named 2014 Presidential Scholar candidates.
Several Fairfield County students have been named 2014 Presidential Scholar candidates. Photo Credit: Courtesy U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Facebook Page

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Several Fairfield County students have been named Presidential Scholar candidates.

More than 20 Fairfield County students were named candidates from nearly 3.4 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools this year.

"Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 50th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors," said a press release. "Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities."

More than 3,000 candidates were selected for exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT Assessment. In addition, each Chief State School Officer received an invitation to nominate three male and three female candidates, based on their outstanding scholarship, residing in their jurisdiction. A distinguished panel of educators will review these submissions and select 560 semifinalists in early April.

The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the president, will make final selection of the scholars. They will select one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. students living abroad; 15 students at-large; and up to 20 students from the creative and performing arts. The U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May. 

The following is a list of candidates from Fairfield County: 

  • Darien - Catherine S. Lacy, Darien High School
  • Darien - Blake Lange, Darien High School
  • Darien - Cameron J. Van De Graaf, Darien High School
  • Fairfield - Mark R. Whittaker, Greens Farms Academy
  • Greenwich - Zachry M. Bai, Greenwich High School
  • Greenwich - Danielle O. Connolly, Greenwich High School
  • Greenwich - Elisa Martinez, Greenwich High School
  • Greenwich - Jacqueline Bein, Greenwich High School
  • Norwalk - Zachary T. Marron, home school
  • Ridgefield - Nicholas G. Esemplare, Ridgefield High School
  • Ridgefield - Ryan Konopka, Ridgefield High School
  • Stamford - Sophia E, Lawrenceville School
  • Stamford - Ashim Vaish, Brunswick School
  • Weston - Matthew W. Ielusic, Weston High School
  • Weston - Trammell J. Saltzgaber, Weston High School
  • Weston - Griffin O. Shoglow-Rubenst, Hopkins School
  • Westport - Eric H. Dexheimer, Greens Farms Academy
  • Westport - Charles C. Jersey, Staples High School
  • Wilton - Sarah C. Healy, Wilton High School
  • Wilton - Kimberly M. Holmgren, Wilton High School
  • Wilton - Kurt B. Rubin, Wilton High School
  • Wilton - Kathleen T. Smith, Wilton High School

For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, parents and students can call the U.S. Presidential Scholars Office at 319/688-4345 or send an e-mail to

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Comments (3)


Your snarky comments are uncalled for. As the father of three kids who not only pariticpated in band but were high honors students in high school, I have seen them go to college well prepared - all having achieved high honors in college, one who has already gone on to get a master's degree and another who will have her masters by next year.

Students who pursue challenging academics throughout their Norwalk public school will be successful... and those who participate in the marching bands get the added benefit of learning life skills such as time management and team work!

I am stunned. Not one candidate from New Canaan? That does not compute.

Okay, 22 candidates selected from all of Fairfield County, but exactly one from Norwalk? And that kid is home schooled? Congratulations to the candidate, but this does not speak very highly of Norwalk, or its public schools. Perhaps there's too much emphasis on high school marching bands, and not enough on academic excellence.