Awards and Recognition

Vermont Presidential Scholars Program 

The Vermont Presidential Scholars Program recognizes students for academic success, artistic and technical excellence, community service, and leadership. Scholars are chosen in 3 different categories: General (for high school seniors), the Arts (for grades 10 – 12), and Career Technical Education (for high school seniors currently enrolled in a state-approved CTE program). Students are selected based on nominations from teachers and administrators.  In the General and Arts categories, students may also nominate themselves with the endorsement of a qualifying adult. 

High schools can nominate up to one female and one male in the General category, and CTE centers can nominate up to two students. As the Arts Presidential Scholars is still a growing program in Vermont, we are not currently limiting the number of nominees from each school. Selection committees will identify 10 male and 10 female students in the General category, 5 Arts students, and 5 CTE students. Deadline for submissions is November 6, 2019.

Process Timeline – Vermont Agency of Education

  • November 6, 2019 – Deadline for nominations for Vermont Presidential Scholars
  • November 21, 2019 - Schools and Nominees are informed of results
  • January 13, 2020 - Reception for scholars and parents at the Vermont State House


Process Timeline – US Department of Education (Vermont’s General  and CTE scholars will be invited to apply to be national Presidential Scholars, which is facilitated by the U.S. Department of Education.)

  • January 2020 - Nominees invited to apply to the U.S. program
  • February 26, 2020 - Completed applications due to the U.S. program office
  • May 2020 - U.S. Presidential Scholars announced by U.S. Department of Education


Examples of past winners include students who:

  • Helped start Best Buddies chapter at their school, which pairs students with others who have intellectual disabilities; 
  • Advocated for LGBQT rights; 
  • Was the founder and regional director of the Vermont chapter of Back to BACH, an international initiative to instill a love of classical music in elementary school students; 
  • Competed in Dartmouth College’s Brain Bee and finished in the top five each time, and on an award at the Vermont State Science, Math and Engineering Fair; 
  • Created a schoolwide event to raise money to pay tuition for 7 students to attend secondary school in Rwanda;
  • Designed and built sustainable structures for use in the Danville Town Forest
  • Led a movement against bullying in their school;
  • Served on the Town Hall Theater board of directors a the youth voice;
  • Brought a VTLSP / SADD Program to the school and designed student led-advisories pre and post event;
  • Was the lead Vermont student organizer of a national political campaign;
  • Coached 3 years of basketball and 1 year of soccer for the Special Olympics; 
  • Volunteered at the emergency room at a nearby hospital; 
  • Won the SkillsUSA Gold Medal in T shirt design and is a certified web designer; 
  • Wrote and filmed a feature length movie using students and community members as cast and crew; and 
  • Was a member of their town’s energy committee.

Need more information? Contact: Sigrid Olson, for General information, Martha Deiss for Arts information, and Doug Webster for CTE information.

U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

The 25 Vermont Presidential Scholars will be invited by the U.S. Department of Education to apply for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, which recognizes some of the country’s most distinguished high school seniors. The program honors students who show exceptional academicachievement, talent in the visual, creative and performing arts, and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students. Learn more about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program in the General, Arts, and CTE categories.

Contact Us

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
1 National Life Drive, Davis 5
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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