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Press Release

State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler praised seven North Dakota high school seniors who were named as semifinalists for Presidential Scholar honors, which is one of the nation’s most prestigious education awards.

The semifinalists are Daniel Hettich and Gareth Wu, of Grand Forks, who are both seniors at Grand Forks Central; Rachel Goven, of Turtle Lake, a senior at Turtle Lake High School; Evan Halvorson, of Lawton, a senior at Lakota High School; Hanna Johnson, of Walcott, a Richland High School senior; Joanna Lin, of Fargo, a Davies High senior; and Jacob Shelver, of Fargo, a senior at North High School.

The seven students were picked from a group of 65 North Dakota Presidential Scholar nominees. In early May, one male and one female student from among the group will be chosen as North Dakota’s Presidential Scholars for 2020. A male and female Presidential Scholar are chosen from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and from families of U.S. citizens who are living abroad.

The Department of Education invited the students to apply for Presidential Scholar consideration based on their college entrance exam scores. They were asked to complete applications that required writing short essays and describing their talents and community service.

“Being nominated for Presidential Scholar consideration shows a student has a record of community service and accomplishment, as well as being an outstanding student,” Baesler said. “Their families, friends, teachers, and the state of North Dakota as a whole should be proud of them.”

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