NYS CTE Presidential Scholar Nominees!
Five NYS CTE Students nominated for the 2016 Presidential Scholars Program.
We are excited to recognize the inaugural class of nominees for the 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education! President Obama recently amended the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program by adding a new component - recognition for excellence among students in career and technical education. An Executive Order creating this third component was signed in late June by the President at the White House. Therefore, 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the 2016 program year will be honored, including 20 first-time U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education (CTE).
 
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and, since that time, the program has honored more than over 7,000 outstanding high school seniors. The mission of the program is to recognize and honor outstanding high school seniors, and thereby encourage high attainment among all students.
 
Per the original Executive Order establishing the program, students are selected on the basis of outstanding scholarship. For most of the program's existence, nominees have been invited to apply for Presidential Scholars recognition based upon SAT or ACT scores. As the program has grown, Scholars candidates have been invited to apply in other ways as well.Beginning in 1979, outstanding students who demonstrated ability and accomplishment in the visual and performing arts or creative writing were added to the program. Since 2013, Chief State School Officers (CSSO) have been invited to nominate candidates from their states. And now, starting in 2016, outstanding students who demonstrate excellence in career and technical education will also be included for Presidential Scholar recognition.
 
The CCSO (in NY the Commissioner of Education) are asked to nominate students for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. During the 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars student nomination process, 51 CSSO-nominated students were named semifinalists and 14 CSSO-nominated students were named U.S. Presidential Scholars.
 
This year the NYS Commissioner of Education nominated 20 students: 10 males and 10 females as candidates for the 2016 Scholars program which included 5 students in CTE programs.
 
It is exciting that this new component of the program will honor students "on the basis of outstanding scholarship and demonstrated ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields."
 
The CTE selection process will evolve after this initial year, but for this inaugural class of scholars, candidates who are nominated and choose to apply and whose applications are complete will automatically become semifinalists.
 
Next step? Nominees must complete an application by February 25, 2016 and will be evaluated on: Involvement and Service (in school and community), Leadership and Character, Writing samples, Academic achievements, and discretionary points for extraordinary achievement, heavy workload, family responsibilities, or obstacles overcome.
 
At the beginning of May, the Commission on Presidential Scholars will select and announce the names of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars. The Presidential Scholars will receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a ceremony in their honor in Washington, DC.
 
To learn more about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program and the Commission on Presidential Scholars, please visit their Web site at:www.ed.gov/psp.
 
We look forward to the recognition of the first group of CTE Scholars in another remarkable class of U.S. Presidential Scholars. 
 
Meet the New York State Nominees in Career and Technical Education 
Kiara Turscott
Roy C. Ketcham High School studying at Dutchess BOCES, Poughkeepsie, NY
 
Kiara Turscott is enrolled in the Cosmetology Program at Dutchess BOCES. In addition to having one of the highest GPAs in the school, she has excellent attendance, exemplary technical skills plus a tremendous work ethic. Mitch Shron, Kiara's principal, states: "What is especially impressive about Kiara is her entrepreneurial spirit." Evidence of which occurred during the Product Invention Project for one of her classes. Kiara not only invented an organic lip balm but also developed and marketed it. When asked what traits he thought contribute to Kiara's success, Mr. Shron stated: "Kiara is determined to be successful she does not settle for second best. Her grades are the result of hard work." 
 
Kiara plans on attending Dutchess Community College next year. She plans on opening her own salon where she will also develop and sell organic beauty products.
 
Senator Sue Serino commented: "The achievements of Kiara Truscott absolutely transcend typical qualifiers of GPA or class rank and for this reason, she truly embodies what it means to be a Presidential Scholar. It is with great pride that I was able to nominate her for this prestigious award and I commend her for her passion and drive to succeed. This young woman has displayed true strength of character and has made innumerable contributions to not only her school, but to our community. We are incredibly proud to count her as a member of our community and look forward to the ways in which she will continue to help improve our local area."
 
 
Jeremiah Houseman
East Syracuse-Minoa High School, East Syracuse, NY
Jeremiah Houseman is enrolled in the Carpentry and Construction Program at East Syracuse-Minoa High School. Jeremiah is earning an Advanced Regents Diploma and obtaining a five-unit sequence in CTE. He has been able to complete a rigorous academic course load as well as a concentration in carpentry and construction. Michael White, Jeremiah's school counselor, indicates that Jeremiah's strong work ethic, eagerness to learn, and energy contributed to him receiving this nomination. He adds: "Jeremiah also has great leadership skills; he leads with action. He does the right thing and others follow his lead. He demonstrates this leadership as one of the head captains on a major program project: constructing a 2600 sq. ft. house from the ground up." Jeremiah devotes his spare time after school working on the house project.
 
Jeremiah plans on pursuing a degree in residential construction at either Morrisville State College or SUNY Delhi.
 
Assemblyman Al Stirpe stated: "I would like to congratulate Jeremiah Housman on his nomination for the Presidential Scholars Program. Jeremiah has distinguished himself as a leader and an extraordinary student, both in and out of the classroom. Jeremiah is more than deserving of this honor and I wish him all the best in the next round of nominations." 
 
 
Dijour Carter
Albany High School studying at Abrookin Career and Technical Center, Albany, NY

Dijour Carter is enrolled in the Arts, A/V & Communications Program with a concentration in Digital Film Making at the Abrookin Career and Technical Center. His filmmaking teacher, Theresa Story, feels that he was nominated, in part, because he is totally engaged with the course content and goes above and beyond the course requirements. He has taught himself several software programs and produced music on his own. He consistently strives to learn as much as he can about filmmaking and is interested in anything that has to do with filmmaking.  Ms. Story states: "Dijour is positive, animated and has a delightful personality." 
 
Dale Getto, Dijour's principal, comments: "Dijour is a student who embodies the motto of the City of Albany; assiduity, or 'stick-to-it-ness'. He has several challenges yet is always ready to learn and grow. He is independent yet, open to and will seek out feedback to make his craft better."
 
Outside of class, Dijour is involved in Skills USA, Youth FX (an organization where students are able to produce films as part of larger productions), and Liberty Partnership Rising Stars Program (an after school mentoring program through the University at Albany). Dijour would like to attend HVCC and eventually produce his own films and open a comic store.
 
Assemblyman John T. McDonald commented: "I am honored and pleased that Dijour Carter is being nominated for the Presidential Scholars Program from the 108th Assembly District. Dijour is a fine example of the goodness and promise in our youth and it is because of his efforts that he is nominated for this prestigious award. I am excited that he is being advanced to the next level".
 
 
Chelsie Clouthier
Newfane High School studying at Orleans/Niagara BOCES, Medina, NY
 
Chelsie Clouthier is enrolled in the Electricity/Electronics Program at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES. During high school, she has taken four Advanced Placement courses and two college credit-bearing courses, and currently has a GPA of 4.0. Glenn Smith, Chelsie's guidance counselor at Newfane HS comments: "She has maintained a valuable mix of rigorous academic and technical courses". Kara Kirk, Chelsie's guidance counselor at Orleans/Niagara BOCES indicates that Chelsie is at the top of her class with a 99-100% average. She is the only female in her Electricity/Electronics classes and enjoys being a role model for other female students looking to enter a male-dominated field. When asked what traits they feel have contributed to Chelsie's success, both Ms. Kirk and Mr. Smith indicate that intelligence, motivation, hard work, maturity, uniqueness, and her passion for the field of electricity/electronics. 
 
Chelsie has been named Student of the Month due to her achievement, work ethic, and attendance. She is also the chapter treasurer of Skills USA, placed first in the regional and state competitions, and attended nationals. In addition, Chelsie is a member of the National Technical Honor Society. Next year, Chelsie will be attending the University at Buffalo pursuing a major in electrical engineering.
 
Rob Ortt, State Senator commented: "It's young adults like Chelsie Cloutier that will truly leave a mark on the world as they continue to excel academically, and continue to leave lasting impressions throughout our communities and among their peers. Chelsie is a hardworking leader, and I have no doubt she will lead a successful and rewarding career. It was my honor to have nominated this esteemed individual from my Senate District. I am truly proud that she has been chosen-among a selective group of students-to move on as one of the ten nominees for this well-regarded program. I wish her the best of luck!"
 
 
John Messina
Levittown Public Schools studying at Gerald R. Claps Career and Technical Center, Levittown, NY
 
John Messina is enrolled in the Electrical Technology Program at Gerald R. Claps Career and Technical Center. He's ranked in the top 3% of his class. He is also a member of the National Honor Society and treasurer of the National Technical Honor Society. Kristina Cuomo, John's English teacher, describes John as "thoughtful, kind and a hard worker. He has it all!" John is on his high school football team and also volunteers fundraising for organizations such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. After school, already pursuing his career, he is employed as an electrical assistant at Lightworks Electrical Inc. in Farmingdale. After high school John would like to apply for an IEBW Apprentice position.
 
Assemblyman David G. McDonough commented: "I would like to congratulate John Messina on being nominated for the Presidential Scholars Program, it is a testament to his motivation, hard work, and character."