Clear Brook Senior Named 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholar

Clear Brook Senior Named 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholar
Posted on 05/10/2018
PSAU.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the selection of Syamantak Payra of Clear Brook High School as a 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholar.

Payra is one of only 161 American high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service, and contribution to school and community. The U.S. Presidential Scholars will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington D.C., on June 24-26.

"I want to congratulate this year’s class of Presidential Scholars on their achievement and also
thank their parents, teachers and other academic advisors who have helped guide them along the way,”
said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “These students have pushed themselves to be the best
they can be, and I am certain that devotion will serve them well as they continue their individual learning journeys.”

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually 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. Of the 3.6
million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,200 candidates qualified for the 2018 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers and other partner recognition organizations.

Each U.S. Presidential Scholar is also offered the opportunity to name his or her most influential teacher. The teacher chosen for recognition by Payra is his AP Biology and Research Teacher Alaina Garza. She will receive a personal letter from the Secretary of Education.

“Syamantak is truly an outstanding student and I have been honored to have taught him in my classes and clubs for the past four years,” said Garza. “He has a humble, helpful and humorous nature that always makes me smile. Syamantak inspires the students with his determination and perseverance, showing that anything is possible with hard work. He has helped to develop and shape ideas that will have a lasting impact on our school, our community and our world.”

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored almost 7,500 of the nation’s top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual ceremony in D.C.

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