Two seniors named US Presidential Scholar candidates

91 Minnesota students selected as candidates for prestigious program

Used with permisson of Dahlia Krebs and Josh Krueger.

Used with permisson of Dahlia Krebs and Josh Krueger.

Sophia Curran-Moore

Up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars annually, which is considered to be one of the highest honors for high schoolers. Senior Dahlia Krebs, a Presidential Scholar candidate, said she would be thrilled to be selected for the program because of the opportunities to meet leaders and fellow students.

“I’d be very happy (to be a Scholar) and I think it would be a great experience,” Krebs said. “National Presidential Scholars go to D.C. in June. You can hear a lot of speakers and meet people who work in government, so it’s great networking. It’s also great networking to meet with other motivated students.”

The US Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Park seniors Josh Krueger and Dahlia Krebs were named as candidates in January — candidates are chosen based on their ACT and SAT scores. Semi-finalists will be announced in mid-April and the Presidential Scholars will be announced in early May.

Josh Krueger said he hopes to be chosen for the program because he would like to meet the president, as past Scholars have done.

“In past years, (Scholars) have met the president, although with Trump that didn’t happen, and it remains to be seen whether it happens with Biden. I’d be excited if I got to meet Biden,” Josh Krueger said.

Leslie Krueger said her son, Josh Krueger, is distinguished by his self-determination and studiousness.

“He is a pretty independent student. He’s intelligent and he’s very academically driven. He wants to do the right thing with the gifts that he’s been given,” Leslie Krueger said.

I’d be very happy (to be a Scholar) and I think it would be a great experience.”

— Dahlia Krebs

Similarly, International Baccalaureate Program coordinator Jenny Magdal said Krebs is an excellent candidate for this program because of her independence, meticulosity and resourcefulness.

“I don’t feel like she’s needed much support. She is a phenomenal human being,” Magdal said. “She’s highly organized, which is a huge asset. Along with that, she’s really good at maintaining balance.”

According to Gifted and Talented Program advisor Alan Wachutka, it is crucial for teachers to foster students’ aptitudes.

“Each teacher is here to support our students’ academic success and their social-emotional health,” Wachutka said. “Anytime we have students show their brilliance, it’s important we support that so they get the accolades that they’ve earned, and it’s good for all of us in the long run if we support every kid in the special things they do.”

Leslie Krueger said the determination of her son and all seniors this year astonishes her.

“I’m really proud of him,” Leslie Krueger said. “I’m really impressed with all seniors who are having to go through this process of planning out what they’re going to be doing after graduation, and doing that from their desks and with all of the uncertainty with COVID.”