Superintendent’s Memo #241-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

September 18, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: 2016 U. S. Presidential Scholars Program Includes CTE Student Recognition

In 2016, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars, including 20 first-time U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education (CTE) will be honored.  President Obama recently amended the program by adding this new component.  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.

The Office of Career and Technical Education is accepting nominations of Virginia candidates for recognition.  All high school seniors who are participants of a CTE program graduating between January and June of 2016 who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents and who attend public, parochial, or independent schools, as well as those who are home-schooled, are eligible.  The Criteria for Candidate Identification and Nomination provides additional information and lists the categories that will be used by the Commission on Presidential Scholars selection committee.

You are invited to nominate an outstanding CTE student for the 2016 Presidential Scholars program.  The following information must be submitted for nominees through the secure Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SSWS) drop box to the Virginia Department of Education, attention Judith P. Sams:

Nominations must be received by October 5, 2015.  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 2016 and completed applications will be due in February 2016.  The U.S. Presidential Scholars will be announced in May 2016.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Judith P. Sams, specialist for business and information technology and related clusters, Office of Career and Technical Education, at or by telephone at (804) 371-0196.



  1. Criteria for Candidate Identification and Nomination (PDF)