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Petal High School Senior Named 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar

Ritchie Yang

May 12, 2022

PETAL, Miss. – Petal High School senior Ritchie Yang has been named a 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar. The 58th class was announced today by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

From nearly 3.7 million graduating high school seniors, over 5,000 students were identified as candidates for the program, and 620 semifinalists were selected from across the country, forming the pool from which the 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars were chosen.

“I am grateful and excited to be named a Presidential Scholar,” said Ritchie Yang. “It is a very prestigious honor, and I am proud to not only represent Mississippi, but also Petal High School. I am thankful for all who have helped me get to this point, especially the support from my friends, family, and community.”

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. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.

“We are so Panther Proud that Ritchie has been selected as a U.S Presidential Scholar,” said Dr. Matt Dillon, Petal School District superintendent. “This is a tremendous accomplishment that requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Ritchie is very deserving of this honor and will represent our district and the State of Mississippi very well.”

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2022 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program.

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