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Bellevue School District Students, Staff and Schools Earn National Recognitions

Bellevue School District Students, Staff and Schools Earn National Recognitions

As another academic year comes to a close, we celebrate our graduates, students, staff and families. We recognize their many and varied accomplishments and extend our gratitude to our learning community for your continued support of our district, schools and educators. Here are some of the many highlights.

Scholars and Explorers

Shannon Callahan, a Newport High School student was recently selected for the Student Enhancement in Earth and Space Science (SEES) summer internship at the University of Texas Austin’s Center for Space Research. During the summer, she will work with scientists and engineers to conduct authentic research from data received from NASA’s earth observing satellites. Interns will design Mars habitats and analyze images from the International Space Station. This program, funded by NASA, selects students who will increase their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math through earth and space education. 100 students were selected for this unique opportunity from over 2000 applications.

student Kosha Upadhyay
student Nikhita
student Shannon Callahan

Kosha Upadhyay, a senior at Bellevue High School was recently named a U.S. Presidential Scholar. She nominated, Valentina Craciunoiu as her most influential teacher. Presidential Scholars are selected based on their accomplishments in many areas: academic and artistic success, accomplishment in career and technical fields, leadership, strong character, and involvement in school and the community. “The 161 high school seniors selected for the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Presidential Scholars program represent the best of our nation’s schools and inspire hope in the bright future of this country,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school in 2024, more than 5,700 candidates qualified for the 2024 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by chief state school officers, other partner recognition organizations and YoungArts, the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists. The 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of two students from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 Scholars in the arts and 20 Scholars in career and technical education. Since 1983, each U.S. Presidential Scholar has been offered the opportunity to name their most influential teacher. Each distinguished teacher is honored with a personal letter from the Secretary of Education.

Interlake senior Nikhita Penugonda was selected as a semifinalist in the Presidential Scholars Program. Semifinalists were selected from a pool of nearly 6,500 candidates expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in 2024.

National Merit Honors

This spring, the Bellevue School District recognized the students who qualified for the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program. Bellevue School District has the highest number of students who qualified for this distinction in the state of Washington, which includes students from each of our four comprehensive high schools as well as students from International School. For the second year in a row, Interlake High School has had the single highest number of National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists in the state.

Bellevue Schools Top in State

Bellevue, Interlake and Newport High Schools, along with International School were recently recognized by U.S. News and World Report as the top performing high schools in the state of Washington. The 2024 rankings are a part of the publication’s larger review of schools nationwide.

The rankings were based on six factors: college readiness, state-assessment proficiency, state-assessment performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth, and graduation rate, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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