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

Vermont Presidential Scholars Program

The Vermont Presidential Scholars Program is a statewide recognition of student citizenship, academic, artistic, and leadership excellence. Outstanding students are selected based on nominations from teachers and administrators. Students in some categories may also nominate themselves. 

High schools can nominate up to one female and one male to be considered for the US Department of Education Presidential Scholars Program in the General category, students are not required to identify by birth gender. Schools are encouraged to submit nominations for those students who identify as non-binary or who choose not to identify for recognition in the Vermont program. In the CTE category, centers can nominate up to two students. There is currently no limitation on the number of nominees from each school in the Arts category.
Below are links to the various nomination forms: 

Schools can decide their own process for selection and recommendation, but please keep in mind that for the General and CTE process all nominees must be high school seniors graduating between January and June of 2023 who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents and who attend public, parochial, or independent schools, as well as those who are home-schooled.  

Process Timeline – Vermont Agency of Education 

Early November, 2023 - Deadline for nominations for Vermont Presidential Scholars  

Late November, 2023 - Schools and Nominees are informed of results 

January 2024* – Ceremony at State House 

*Date dependent upon State House availability and is subject to change. 

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. 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 

Vermont’s General scholars will be invited to apply to be national Presidential Scholars, which is facilitated by the U.S. Department of Education.   

Late January 2023 – Nominees invited to apply to the U.S. program  

Late February 2023 – Completed applications due to the U.S. program office  

Mid-April 2023 – Semi-finalists announced 

May 2023 – U.S. Presidential Scholars announced by U.S. Department of Education  

Mid-to-late June 2023 – US Presidential Scholar National Recognition Program 

Need more information? Contact Ryan Parkman at for General information, Lisa Bresler at for Arts information, and Doug Webster at for CTE information.  

Vermont Finalists for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on
their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations, and
transcripts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership.
The finalists for each state were recently announced and the two recipients representing
Vermont are Adowyn Mulligan Byrne of Essex High School and Samuel John Yager of
Champlain Valley Union High School.

A student is invited to apply to the United States Department of Education’s Presidential
Scholars Program through a nomination by their Chief State School Officer (Vermont
Secretary of Education) for being recognized as a Vermont Presidential Scholar or by
scoring exceptionally well on either the SAT or ACT. The Presidential Scholars Class of
2023 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online
recognition program. For more information on the federal program and a complete list of
the 2023 recipients from all states, please visit the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program’s

A list of the Vermont finalists and semi-finalists for the U.S. Department of Education’s
Presidential Scholars Program is provided below:

U.S. DOE Finalist - Vermont
  • Adowyn Mulligan Byrne, Essex High School
  • Samuel John Yager, Champlain Valley Union High School
U.S. DOE Semi Finalist - Vermont
  • Emily P. Borrazzo, South Burlington High School
  •  Adowyn Mulligan Byrne, Essex High School
  • Emilia I. De Jounge, Burr and Burton Seminary*
  • Chase Dobson, The Hotchkiss School
  • Nicholas G. O'Donnell, Burr and Burton Seminary
  • Samuel John Yager, Champlain Valley Union High School

*Also, a 2023 Vermont Presidential Scholar Recipient.

Vermont Presidential Scholars Recipients

The Vermont Presidential Scholars Program recognizes graduating high school seniors who show outstanding scholarship, leadership and service to their communities. This year fifteen 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, four in the general category, two in the CTE category, and four 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. 

Vermont scholars for the general and CTE categories have been invited to apply to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, which will announce its winners in May of each year. Additional Vermont students were invited to apply by the U.S. Department of Education based on their SAT and/or ACT scores. Each year, up to 161 students are named as national Presidential Scholars – one of the highest honors for high school students.

Recognition Ceremony for the 2023 Vermont Presidential Scholars 

The 2023 Vermont Presidential Scholars Program’s Recognition Ceremony took place at the State House in Montpelier on Monday, January 30. The ceremony celebrated each scholar’s unique contributions to their school and community. Welcoming remarks were provided by Secretary of Education, Dan French. 

2023 General Presidential Scholars 

  • Andrew Claire, Burr and Burton Academy  
  • Anna Isselhardt, Peoples Academy  
  • Emilia de Jounge, Burr and Burton Academy  
  • Madeline Pike, Richford HS  
  • John Viens, Richford HS  
  • Tovahn Vitols, Rivendell Academy 

2023 Career Technical Education Presidential Scholars 

  • Emma Dana, River Valley Technical Center (Springfield HS)  
  • Evan Hodgson, Center for Technology, Essex (Essex HS)  
  • Jaden Marie-Schott Gallup, North Country Career Center (North Country UHS)  
  • Haley Michaud, Green Mountain Technology and Career Center (Hazen UHS)  
  • Damian Stagner, River Valley Technical Center (Springfield HS) 
Honorable Mention
  • Hanna Grasso, Central Vermont Career Center (Montpelier HS)  
  • Winter Nakos, Windham Regional Career Center (Twin Valley HS)  

2023 Arts Presidential Scholars 

  • Matthew Califano, Craftsbury Academy  
  • Hayden Jessiman, Mount Mansfield UHS  
  • Anthony Rizvanov, Essex HS 
Honorable Mention 
  • Alexander Califano, Craftsbury Academy 

Recognition Ceremony for the 2022 Vermont Presidential Scholars 

The 2022 Vermont Presidential Scholars Recognition Ceremony video highlights and celebrates each scholar’s unique contributions to their school and community, and includes welcoming remarks by Secretary of Education Dan French. 

2022 General Presidential Scholars

  • Michael Alfano - Burr and Burton Academy
  • Emmanuella Amoah - South Burlington High School
  • Carly Archambault - Richford High School
  • Ezra Avery - Rivendell Academy
  • Marc-Andre Berthin - South Burlington High School
  • Henry Carpenter - Middlebury Union High School
  • Rebecca Cunningham - Burlington High School
  • Mei Elander - Enosburg Falls High School
  • Viviana Hammond - Middlebury Union High School
  • Shixin Huang - Blue Mountain Union School
  • Justin Lee - Essex High School
  • Addison Lentzner - Arlington Memorial High School
  • Jenna Montgomery-Concha - Rutland High School
  • Firdaus Muhammad - Essex High School
  • Alexa Witkin - Burr and Burton Academy 
Honorable Mention
  • Owen Dube-Johnson - Rutland High School
  • Janaya Parsons - Bellow Free Academy, Fairfax
  • Maya Remick - Peoples Academy
  • Minelle Sarfo-Adu - South Burlington High School

2022 Career Technical Education Presidential Scholars

  • Aiyana Tanesha Bullock - Center for Technology - Essex (Burlington High School)
  • Khellmar Mackeem Omar Darling - Burlington Technical Center (Winooski High School)
  • Ashley Hewitt - Stafford Technical Center (Otter Valley Union High School)
  • Bodwe Kashindi - Center for Technology - Essex (Burlington High School)
  • Andrew D Kawalec  - River Bend Career and Technical Center (Rivendell Academy)
Honorable Mention
  • Harrison D Gleim - River Valley Technical Center (Bellows Falls Union High School)
  • Abigail M Willis - Burlington Technical Center (Champlain Valley Union High School)

2022 Arts Presidential Scholars

  • Kassidy Jay - Burlington Technical Center (Champlain Valley Union High School)
  • Justin Lee - Essex High School
  • Emilia McCalla - Home Study Program
  • Anniella Pettingill - Essex High School
  • Xavier Pinnock - Montpelier High School
Honorable Mention
  • YwaBlu Htoo (HM) - Burlington Technical Center (Burlington High School)
  • Zoe Maxwell (HM) - Burlington Technical Center (Burlington High School)
  • Charlie McCaffrey (HM) - Central Vermont Career Center (Union 32 High School)
  • Madeline McQuillen Slocombe (HM) - Bellow Free Academy, Fairfax

Recognition Ceremony for the 2021 Vermont Presidential Scholars

Restrictions in the spring of 2021 due to COVID made it impossible for the 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 that 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.

Need more information? Contact: Ryan Parkman for General information, Lisa Bresler for Arts information, and Doug Webster for CTE information.

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.