DATE: September 29, 2017
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

2018 U. S. Presidential Scholars Nomination Process for Students in Career and Technical Education

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and since that time, the program has honored more than 7,000 outstanding high school seniors.  As the program has grown from the initial recognition based upon SAT or ACT scores, additional Scholars candidates have been invited to apply for accomplishments in the visual and performing arts or creative writing.  Beginning in 2016, outstanding students who demonstrate excellence in Career and Technical Education (CTE) were included for recognition.

During the 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars student nominations process, 208 students were nominated through the Chief State School Officers as CTE candidates; 152 became semifinalists, and 20 were named as U.S. Presidential Scholars in CTE.  One of those U.S. Presidential Scholars in CTE was a Virginia student.

The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education is accepting nominations of Virginia candidates for 2018 recognition. The Criteria for Candidate Identification and Nomination provides detailed information and lists the categories that will be used by the Commission on Presidential Scholars selection committee.

School divisions are invited to nominate an outstanding CTE student for the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.  The following information must be submitted for nominees through the Virginia Department of Education secure Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SSWS) drop box to the attention of Judith P. Sams:

Nominations must be received by October 15, 2017.  Five state semifinalists will be selected by the Virginia Selection Committee.  The U.S. Presidential Scholars program office will invite those nominees to apply in mid-January 2018, completed applications will be due in February, and the Scholars will be announced in May.

If you have any questions, please contact Judith P. Sams, CTE Scholars Coordinator, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, at or by telephone at (804) 371-0196.



  1. Criteria for Candidate Identification and Nomination (PDF)