Morgan Hill’s Dean Tran, a senior at Sobrato High School, was one of only 161 students nationwide named a 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholar.
Tran, who will be attending Stanford University in the fall, is one of only two male students in the state of California selected for the U.S. Presidential Scholar program.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the U.S. Presidential Scholars on May 21. Tran and other presidential scholars “have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, technical expertise, leadership, citizenship, service and contribution to school and community,” reads an announcement from the U.S. Department of Education.
DeVos said in a press release, “It is my privilege to congratulate the Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 on their outstanding academic achievement, community service and leadership. 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.”
The 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as 15 chosen at large, 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education.
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals, according to the Dept. of Education. Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school nationwide this year, more than 5,300 candidates qualified for the 2020 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations.
Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 7,600 of the nation’s top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual ceremony in D.C.
The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.
Since 1983, each U.S. Presidential Scholar has been offered the opportunity to name their most influential teacher. Tran chose to recognize teacher Kim Stubbe, also of Sobrato High School.
The Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer as public health circumstances permit.
Tran, a Morgan Hill resident, was also one of two Sobrato High School seniors to be named National Merit Scholar semifinalists in September 2019.