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The Best and Brightest: Idaho Department of Ed Unveils List of Presidential Scholar Candidates


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Anticipation is running high among more than 50 of Idaho's best high school seniors. They've been named as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The students, selected for earning top scores on SAT and ACT exams, were also judged for their participation in school and community activities, as well as their leadership. Each has been notified by email and will have until Tuesday, Feb. 26, to submit full applications for the honor.

Semifinalists will be narrowed to a shorter list on Wednesday, April 17. Ultimately, two top students—one male and one female—from each state will ultimately be selected on Tuesday, May 7. The Presidential Scholars will travel to Washington, D.C. in mid-June, where they'll interact with peers from across the nation during three days of ceremonies and forums.

This year's initial list of Idaho candidates includes:

  • Peyton E. Badger, Meridian—Mountain View High School
  • Puja Batchu, Boise—Centennial High School
  • Sarrah Belhadj, Eagle—Centennial High School
  • Megan Boyce, Kimberly—Kimberly High School
  • Anthony C. Brar, Boise—Boise High School
  • Keenan G. Bryan, Idaho Falls—Idaho Falls High School
  • Brendan M. Bundy, Kuna—Meridian High School
  • Hyrum D. Cannon, Ammon—Hillcrest High School
  • Abigail S. Chen, Boise—Boise High School
  • John J. Chen, Boise—Centennial High School
  • Karson M. Chrispens, Hayden—Coeur D'Alene Charter Academy
  • Megan E. Clements, Rigby—Rigby High School
  • Scott D. Dayton, Boise—Boise High School
  • Luke B. Dean, Hailey—Wood River High School
  • Andrew Every, Boise—Boise High School
  • Crista M. Falk, Coeur D Alene—Lake City High School
  • Barrett Fuller, Meridian—Meridian High School
  • Ian Hadrick, Boise—Timberline High School
  • Joseph B. Hall, Ketchum—Community School
  • Kayson T. Hansen, Twin Falls—Twin Falls High School
  • Rachel C. Harris, Idaho Falls—Idaho Falls High School
  • Sabrina R. Hatt, Rexburg—Home school
  • Katelyn A. Hettinga, Kuna—Kuna High School
  • Kara M. Hunter, Boise—Centennial High School
  • Catherine R. Ji, Meridian—Capital High School
  • Theodore A. Knoll, Boise—Timberline High School
  • Catherine S. Knothe, Boise—Boise High School
  • Andrah Lake, Emmett—Emmett High School
  • Benjamin A. Lambert, Hayden—Coeur D'Alene Charter Academy
  • Dahsong Lee, Boise—Boise High School
  • Rachel Y. Liu, Eagle—Eagle High School
  • Anthony Luo, Boise—Boise High School
  • D - Blake W. Magnuson, Eagle—Renaissance High School
  • Adele Marchiando, Sandpoint—Sandpoint High School
  • Aidan M. Mcintyre, Boise—Capital High School
  • Lydia Mcroberts, Lewiston—Lewiston High School
  • Catherine K. Merrill, Boise—Borah High School
  • Madeline Metcalf, Lewiston—Lewiston High School
  • Michael W. Min, Boise—Centennial High School
  • Khoi A. Nguyen, Boise—Timberline High School
  • Ashton M. O'Connor, Boise—Centennial High School
  • Christopher Patrick, Boise—Boise High School
  • Paige Rasmussen, Pocatello—Highland High School
  • Maya S. Redden, Idaho Falls—Compass Academy
  • Thomas E. Ricks, Boise—Timberline High School
  • John C. Shieh, Boise—Centennial High School
  • Leah E. Smith, Nampa—Skyview High School
  • Abraham K. Stucki, Nampa—Skyview High School
  • Hailun Wang, Boise—Timberline High School
  • Jonathan W. Webb, Coeur D Alene—Science Academy of South Texas
  • Alec R. Weber, Meridian—Capital High School
  • Catherine Wells, Meridian—Kolbe Academy
  • Quinn A. White, Boise—Boise High School
  • Toriana J. Wilson, Coeur D'Alene—Lake City High School
  • Sabrina Zerrade, Boise—Timberline High School
  • Grace Zhu, Boise—Boise High School