PTHS Senior: Candidate for Presidential Scholars
By WestKyStar & PTHS Staff
PADUCAH, KY - Michael-Ellen Walden, senior at Paducah Tilghman High School, has been named a candidate in the 2017 United States Presidential Scholars Program by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the United States Department of Education.
Of the nearly 3.5 million high school seniors graduating this year, fewer than 4,000 students from across the country have been selected to participate in the prestigious recognition program.
Walden is a National Merit Commended Student, an AP Scholar with Distinction, and a Paducah Sun Teen of the Week. She is a National Speech and Debate Association Academic All American and a three-year member of the Kentucky All-State Speech Team. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the distinguished PTHS choir, and the female a cappella group, Concordia. Michael-Ellen is also an active member on Tilghman’s academic team, in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and in the Young Democrats Club. She is a volunteer and staff employee at Camp Barnabas, and is active at the Reidland Church of Christ. She is the daughter of Kelly and Wayne Walden.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by executive order of the President to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished high school seniors. Students are selected based on academic success, leadership, and service to school and community.
The Commission on Presidential Scholars will select 500 semifinalists from the national pool of honored students. In April, 121 students, including one male and one female from each state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and from families of U.S. citizens living abroad, will be named U.S. Presidential Scholars. These students will be recognized at the White House later this summer.
“Michael-Ellen has been a student in the Paducah Public Schools since kindergarten, and her diligent work all along the way is now culminating in one of the country’s highest honors,” said Superintendent Donald Shively. “From lighting up the stage in Clark School’s Affair of the Arts productions to helping found Paducah Middle’s speech team where she was named state champion as an eighth grader, she has blazed significant trails. The positive impact she has had in the school system and most recently at Tilghman is beyond impressive.”