Two Baton Rouge Magnet High seniors, Sunggun Lee and Cindy Zheng, are among 161 high school students from across the nation recognized as U.S. Presidential Scholars.

The prestigious honor, announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Education, recognizes outstanding high school seniors in academics and the arts as well as in career and technical education fields.

“These exemplary young people have excelled inside the classroom and out,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “And, while they are facing unprecedented challenges as they graduate from high school into a world that looks much different than it did just a few months ago, their determination, resilience, and commitment to excellence will serve them well as they pursue their next steps.”

Lee and Zheng are part of the 56th class of Presidential Scholars since the award program began in 1964.

The annual honors go to one young man and one young woman in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Other winners include 15 chosen at-large, 20 students for their work in the arts and 20 more in career and technical education.

They will be formally recognized for their outstanding achievement sometime this summer, as public health circumstances surrounding the coronavirus outbreak permit.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually 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.


Email Charles Lussier at clussier@theadvocate.com.