Paducah Tilghman senior Michael Ellen Walden has been designated a semifinalist in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program by The Commission on Presidential Scholars. From a pool of 4,000 candidates, approximately 10 students from each state have been named among the 500 semifinalists. The 4,000 candidates were nominated by high schools and the United States Department of Education.
Walden is a National Merit Commended Student, an AP Scholar with Distinction, and a Paducah Sun Teen of the Week. She is a National Speech and Debate Association Academic All American and a three-year member of the Kentucky All-State Speech Team. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the distinguished PTHS choir, and the female a cappella group Concordia. Walden is also an active member in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and in the Young Democrats Club. She is a volunteer and staff employee at Camp Barnabas, and is active at the Reidland Church of Christ. She is the daughter of Kelly and Wayne Walden.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by executive order of the president to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished high school seniors. Students are selected based on academic success, leadership, and service to school and community.
From the 500 semifinalists, 121 students, including one boy and one girl from each state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and from families of U.S. citizens living abroad, will be named U.S. Presidential Scholars. These students will be recognized at the White House this summer.
Superintendent Donald Shively remarked, “Michael Ellen personifies Paducah Tilghman’s Tradition of Excellence. In academics and in school and community engagement, she has been a leader throughout her high school years. The school system is so proud that she has been recognized at the highest national level for her achievements and dedication to academic success.”
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