Presidential Scholars from Lawrence
¢ 1984 - Marilynn Richtarik, LHS
¢ 1986 - Mark Ducey, LHS
¢ 1989 - Kannon Shanmugam, LHS
¢ 1989 - Srinija Srinivasan, LHS
¢ 1992 - Adam Hefty, LHS
¢ 1993 - Kirsten Magnuson, LHS
¢ 1993 - Cyrus Mody, LHS
¢ 1998 - Jacob Montgomery, LHS
¢ 2002 - Arthur Magnuson, LHS
¢ 2008 - Kate Falkenstien, Free State
Free State High School senior Kate Falkenstien has been named a 2008 Presidential Scholar along with 138 other American students, U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings announced Thursday.
"I am so honored and proud to know that my best work is competitive on a national level," Falkenstien said.
The 2008 presidential scholars will be honored for their accomplishments June 21 to June 24 in Washington, D.C. Douglas Dellinger of Blue Valley North High School was the other Kansas senior selected.
"Not only have these young graduates demonstrated exemplary discipline and achievement in academics and the arts, but they have also exhibited exceptional leadership and service to their local communities," Spellings said in a statement.
Falkenstien has received extensive awards for her academic achievements, involvement in debate and forensics and her volunteer efforts. She will attend Yale in the fall. A 29-member commission appointed by President Bush selected the scholars based on their academic credentials and essays they wrote among other factors.
Falkenstien is the daughter of Douglas County District Judge Paula Martin and Kurt Falkenstien.
She has chosen Don Schawang, Bishop Seabury's head of school, as her "most inspiring and challenging teacher" to travel to Washington to participate in the recognition events.
Falkenstien attended Seabury in junior high school and had Schawang as an English teacher, forensics coach, theater director and adviser.
"He is strikingly intelligent, incredibly devoted to his job and remarkably kind to each and every student," she said.
She also credited Free State administrators and teachers for their help and permission to enroll in Kansas University classes not available at the high school. Falkenstien also has advocated for more Advanced Placement class offerings, a weighted grade-point average system and in general, holding students to a higher standard.