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Three Arkansas high school seniors from Clinton, Fayetteville and Rogers high schools have been named U.S. Presidential Scholars for 2020 by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

Amanda Mei Thomsen of Fayetteville High School, Jack Norris of Rogers High School and Brooke Avery Bradford of Clinton High School are among 161 members of the nation's Class of 2020 to receive the honor for outstanding academic achievement, community service, and leadership.

The annual honorees include one male and one female student from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. families living abroad. There are also 15 scholars chosen at-large, 20 chosen for their accomplishments in the arts and 20 chosen for their accomplishments in career and technical education.

Among the Arkansas students, Bradford is designated as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education.

Bradford intends to attend the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville to study agricultural communications and political science, with plans to ultimately earn a law degree. The daughter of Wayne and Lacy Bradford, the Clinton High graduate's honors include election as Lt. governor of Arkansas Girls State and election this week as state president of the Future Farmers of America. She has also been a leader in area 4-H Club and Rotary Club activities.

Bradford selected Chad Mooney, an agriculture teacher at her school for the Presidential Scholars Program's distinguished teacher recognition.

Norris also is planning to attend UA-Fayetteville to study computer science and business. The son of Aaron and Geraldine Norris, Jack Norris is a National Merit Finalist and scored a perfect 36 on the ACT. At Rogers High, he was involved in orchestra and golf and was a leader in developing a school app called Mountie Mobile to connect students with school activities and schedules.

Norris nominated Rogers music teacher Karol Rulli for the distinguished teachers honor.

Thomsen will be a University of Arkansas Honors College Fellow majoring in economics and industrial engineering. She scored a perfect 36 on the ACT, is a National Merit Finalist and a National Advanced Placement Scholar. She is the current Mu Alpha Theta National Student Delegate President, a role in which she is working to promote access to educational opportunities for underrepresented student groups. She is a competitive figure skater, a pianist and was a drum major for her award-winning high school marching band.

Thomsen's parents are Michael Thomsen and Judith Wang.

Thomsen selected geometry teacher Marcia Bogart for distinguished teacher recognition.

"These exemplary young people have excelled inside the classroom and out. And, while they are facing unprecedented challenges as they graduate from high school into a world that looks much different than it did just a few months ago, their determination, resilience, and commitment to excellence will serve them well as they pursue their next steps," DeVos said.

More than 5,300 candidates of the nation's 3.6 million high school graduates this year qualified for the 2020 awards based on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by their state's chief state school officer, other partner recognition organizations and the National Young Arts Foundation's nationwide Young Arts competition.

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer, as public health circumstances permit, according to the U.S. Department of Education announcement of the honorees.

Metro on 05/23/2020

Print Headline: 3 seniors from state named Presidential Scholars


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