Awards and Recognition

The Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) supports various awards and recognition programs to support educators and students. These programs are intended to strengthen and support the teaching profession as well as highlight exemplary teachers and outstanding students.

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest recognition that a Kindergarten through 12th grade science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science educator may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Since 1983, more than 5,100 teachers have been recognized for their contributions to mathematics and science education. Up to 108 awardees may be recognized each year.

Presidential Scholars

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors.

Vermont Presidential Scholars Program

The Vermont Presidential Scholars Program recognizes graduating high school seniors who show outstanding scholarship, leadership, and service to their communities. This year eighteen scholars have been chosen in the general category, five scholars in the Career Technical Education (CTE) category, and five scholars in the Arts. There were also several students receiving honorable mention, three in the general category, one in the CTE category, and two in the Arts category. These students were among a pool of nominees for this recognition, submitted by their school communities, and ultimately chosen as recipients by a selection committee.

Recognition Ceremony for the 2021 Vermont Presidential Scholars

Restrictions this past spring due to COVID made it impossible for this year’s Vermont Presidential Scholars to be publicly recognized. They were all mailed their certificates, but that did not seem right, nor enough. That is why a small group of adults, and some of the scholars themselves, along with the AOE got together and planned a video montage that would serve as the recognition ceremony. This video has an introduction by Secretary Dan French, keynote address by former Vermont and national presidential scholar Chloe Lemmel-Hay, along with video messages from this year’s presidential scholar recipients and those receiving honorable mention. Unfortunately, not all students were able to contribute a video, but all students’ names are included in this video event.

General Presidential Scholars

Student Name and School:

Hussein Amuri - Winooski High School, Winooski
Annie Boudreau - Peoples Academy, Morrisville
David Case Bradbury - Stowe High School, Stowe
Xander DeBlois - Vergennes Union High School, Vergennes
Matthew Emerson - Leland and Gray High School, Townshend
Giovanni Falco - Rutland High School, Rutland
Madelyn Goebel - Burr and Burton Academy, Manchester
Erubey Lopez - Lamoille Union High School, Hyde Park
Sage McGinley-Smith - Hanover High School, Hanover (NH)
Mallory McGuiness - West Rutland School, West Rutland
Evelyn Monje - Winooski High School, Winooski
Henry Putney - Burr and Burton Academy, Manchester
Alex Smart - Montpelier High School, Montpelier
Abigail Sweet - Bellows Free Academy, Fairfax
Jarrett Sweet - Bellows Free Academy, Fairfax
Delaney Sweet-Werneke - Bellows Free Academy, Fairfax
Sophie Thompson - Bellows Free Academy, St. Albans
Sydney Ward - Bellows Free Academy, St. Albans

Honorable Mention:

Emma Franklin - Middlebury Union High School, Middlebury
Riley Gallagher - Bellows Free Academy, Fairfax
Savannah Rolfe - Stowe High School, Stowe

Career Technical Education Presidential Scholars

Student Name and School (sending school):

Alicia Caputo - Stafford Technical Center, Rutland (Rutland High School, Rutland)
Julia Correll - Burlington Technical Center, Burlington (Colchester High School, Colchester)
Paul Dana - River Valley Technical Center, Springfield (Springfield High School, Springfield)
Penny Ly - Burlington Technical Center, Burlington (Winooski High School, Winooski)
Kyra Wright - Center for Technology Education, Essex (Essex Community Education Center, Essex)

Honorable Mention:

Aiden Cole - Hannaford Career Center, Middlebury (Middlebury Union High School, Middlebury)

Arts Presidential Scholars

Student Name and School (sending school if enrolled in CTE):

Ella Aquadro - Brattleboro Union High School, Brattleboro
Elias Gillen - Green Mountain Technology and Career Center, Hyde Park (Lamoille Union High School, Hyde Park)
Samira Henninge - Burlington Technical Center, Burlington (Burlington High School, Burlington)
Jade Marantz - Long Trail School, Dorset
Patient Mwibeleca - Burlington High School, Burlington

Honorable Mention:

Krystof Bristol - Burlington Technical Center, Burlington (Essex High School, Essex)
Victoria Young - North Country Union High School, Newport

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.

  • General Application
  • Arts Application
  • CTE Application


Process Timeline – Vermont Agency of Education (exact dates TBD)

  • Early November 2021 - Deadline for nominations for Vermont Presidential Scholars
  • Late November 2021 - Schools and Nominees are informed of results
  • Late January 2022 - Recognition Ceremony


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 as 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: Ryan Parkman for General information, Kyle Anderson for Arts information, and Doug Webster for CTE information.

U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

The Vermont Presidential Scholars recipients 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 academic achievement, 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. 

Process Timeline – U.S. Department of Education (exact dates TBD)

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.

  • Late January 2022 - Nominees invited to apply to the U.S. program
  • Late February 2022 - Completed applications due to the U.S. program office
  • May 2022 - U.S. Presidential Scholars announced by U.S. Department of Education

Teacher of the Year

The Vermont Teacher of the Year is an outstanding teacher who represents the thousands of excellent educators in our state, demonstrating leadership to peers by defining quality and rigor and support by sharing collaborative professional knowledge.

Contact Us

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

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