Greenwich High student honored as Presidential Scholar
Greenwich student named Presidential Scholar
Gov. Ned Lamont and state Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona are congratulating three Connecticut residents who were named as 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields. The recognition is one of the nation’s highest honors for graduating high school seniors.
The recipients include:
Chen said being a presidential scholar has shown her that her ideas and actions are meaningful to others, which gives her the confidence to continue pursuing her interests and initiatives.
“I want to keep on seeking ways to connect with others and work on current objectives to bring them to fruition,” she said.
Chen said she is honored and grateful to have a network of other scholars and figures, and she thanked everyone who has supported her: teachers, peers and other members of the Greenwich community.
“Cynthia Chen is an outstanding student and an even better person,” Greenwich High School Headmaster Ralph Mayo said in a statement. “Cynthia has the admiration of our entire educational community and it has been a great pleasure to have her as a member of the amazing Class of 2020.”
The U.S. Department of Education selected the program’s 56th class of 161 scholars from a national pool of 621 student semifinalists, who were nominated for their high academic performance and distinguishing themselves by overcoming hardships, achieving a unique accomplishment, or demonstrating outstanding leadership.
“We couldn’t be more proud to have three young people from Connecticut receive one of the nation’s top honors for high school students, and I offer my congratulations to Cynthia, Brandon and Elizabeth on this accomplishment,” Lamont said. “They represent some of the very best of our state, and I applaud their perseverance and drive, which led to this national recognition.”
“These remarkable Connecticut students demonstrated high academic achievement in the face of extreme adversity, such as difficult family situations, mobility and immigration issues, and assimilating into a new culture and learning English, while attending school and working to help support themselves and their families,” Cardona said.
“Despite all of the adversity they faced, these students managed to continue achieving success in their academic lives, while also developing musical talents, participating in community service, pursuing varied and interesting career paths, and even excelling in athletics. The achievements of these outstanding students deserve acknowledgement. We are proud of Cynthia, Brandon, and Elizabeth for their academic achievements, the strength of their character, their commitment to community, their leadership, and their unwavering perseverance. They are truly an inspiration to all of us and we congratulate them on this well-deserved honor.”
Each year, the U.S. Department of Education invites states to nominate students for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The Connecticut State Department of Education invites school districts to recommend students for the program, and this year received the names of 51 extraordinary young people from 24 districts across the state.
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.
To learn more about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, visit www.ed.gov/psp.
Greenwich High School Students Win Euro Challenge Finals
Greenwich High School’s Euro Challenge Team Members have won the Euro Challenge Finals, which took place virtually last Tuesday.
Team members include: ninth-graders Elliot Gordon and Ambika Grover, and 10th-graders Adam Kaufman, Katia Michals and Veda Swaminathan.
These students will be awarded $1,250 each and will receive a first place trophy to be displayed at Greenwich High School. When it is safe to travel, they will present to the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Euro Challenge is a program of the delegation of the European Union to the United States and was created to promote an understanding of the eurozone area and the euro. Ninth- and 10th-grade students research and explore economic issues facing countries in the euro area and propose solutions to them, culminating in a competition.
Teams of three to five present their findings during regional heats. The best teams then compete in the national finals in New York City, which was held virtually this year.
This team has studied complex subjects — eurozone monetary policy, country-specific fiscal policy and programs, as well as ongoing economic conditions in the eurozone — that go beyond their course loads.
Greenwich High School Teacher and Euro Challenge Team Advisor Ian Tiedemann said in a statement that he was extremely proud of his students.
“Being a part of this learning process with these students has been a real honor and pleasure, especially as they so gracefully navigated to a virtual landscape for preparing and competing,” Tiedemann said. “I'm also exceptionally proud of our club leaders, Melissa Woo and Sofia Pronina; they have been valuable coaches to these students from day one many months ago and have continued to support the team throughout distance learning.”
Swaminathan congratulated the other four finalist teams and said this was a fantastic experience.
“This challence has been one of the things keeping us sane during this pandemic,” she said.
Grover said she had the opportunity to delve into economics, inequality and social mobility in Germany.
“The researching, reading and many late-night calls were responsible for our first-place finish, a feat that could never been accomplished without our fabulous mentors Melissa and Sofia and the coaching from Mr. Tiedmann,” she said.