The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students. Five Ohio CTE students are selected by the ODE State Superintendent for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program CTE category, and 20 finalists will be honored nationwide next Spring for their achievements and accomplishments in career-tech education.
All high school seniors who are participants of a CTE program graduating between January and June of 2020, 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. Candidates who are nominated and choose to apply, and whose applications are complete, will be reviewed by a committee of qualified individuals experienced in career and technical education. The committee will choose 60 applicants to be named as semifinalists. The 60 CTE semifinalist applications will then be reviewed by the Commission on Presidential Scholars. All 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be selected by the Commission on Presidential Scholars and will receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a ceremony in their honor in Washington, DC.
Click here for the nomination form and instructions. Schools are asked to nominate an outstanding CTE Student for this honor (only one nomination per school, please). Finalists will be chosen by ODE leadership.
Blake Kalina, Medina County Career Center - DESIGNATED A SEMI-FINALIST
Program: Public Safety, Instructor: Captain Dave Yorko
Blake Kalina is a senior in the Medina County Career Center’s Public Safety Program and is earning college credits through Cuyahoga Community College. Blake continues to participate in Highland High School activities as a Varsity basketball player and DARE Officer, while also coaching youth basketball. Blake is a graduate of the Jr. Leadership Medina County Program and continues to grow his leadership skills by giving back to his community through a variety of activities. Blake’s community service has included working with the Montville Township Police Department’s MCPAL program, the Brunswick Hills Fire Department’s community open houses and helping to run the Highland Safety Town Program each summer.
Blake’s achievements include; maintaining a 4.28 GPA, ACT score of 33, Induction into Phi Theta Kappa, Cuyahoga Community College’s Honor Society, Highland and MCCC Honor Rolls along with earning Scholar Athlete Awards and Academic Letters. At the Medina County Career Center, Blake earned his Basic Life Support and Occupational Health and Safety Certifications. Blake has concluded his clinical experience with the Cleveland Clinic and will complete his senior year at MCCC with his EMT and Fire II credentials. During his limited free time between school and sports, he enjoys being a member of the Medina Fire Department’s Explorer program.
The Medina County Career Center could not be more proud of this young man. We are confident that he will excel in his post-secondary college work in neuroscience and health care.
Kathryn Chludzinski, Columbiana County Career and Technical Center
Program: Precision Machining and Manufacturing, Instructor: Matt Peters
Kathryn Chludzinski is a senior in the Precision Machining and Manufacturing program at the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center (CCCTC) in Lisbon, Ohio. With a grade point average of 4.1, she is on track to be Valedictorian of the Lisbon David Anderson Class of 2019, and to receive both an Academic Honors Diploma and a Career Tech Honors Diploma upon graduation. Throughout Katie’s high school academic career, she has demonstrated high achievement in the most rigorous college preparatory coursework offered at her school including classes such as Chemistry, Physics, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus. Katie earned the highest scores possible on all of Ohio’s required End of Course Assessments and achieved a score of 33 on the ACT.
Katie has shown a mastery of technical skills in her Career-Tech program. Katie passed all of her end of course technical assessments as a junior and was Advanced in three of the four courses. Katie has nearly completed all of the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Level 1 Credentials by earning seven of the eleven certifications in her junior year. Katie has exhibited excellent employability skills by winning the local and Northeast Regional SkillsUSA Job Interview competition and scored at the Platinum level on the WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate. Katie was able to utilize and enhance her technical competence by completing a summer internship as a machinist with Butech Bliss in Salem, Ohio. She has demonstrated her leadership skills as the President of Lisbon’s National Honor Society, Treasurer of her local SkillsUSA chapter, and a member of National Technical Honor Society.
In addition to excelling in the academic and technical arenas, Katie has been extremely active in extracurricular activities. She was honored with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, has accumulated more than 100 hours of community service, and often volunteers at the Lisbon Historical Society. She attended Buckeye Girls’ State in 2018, has been actively involved in 4-H, participated in Cross County, Track, Pep and Concert Band, and Academic Challenge. Katie has been a member and held leadership positions in many clubs including Junior Leadership Columbiana County, Drug Free Clubs of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Club, Science Club, and Key Club.
Katie has exhibited her creativity and solved many real world problems utilizing Computer Aided Design Software and 3-D printing techniques in her Interactive Creative Design Techniques course and is continuing to use these skills by designing an upgraded automotive braking system for her Senior Capstone Project. She plans to use these skills to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Pauline (Ulamila) Hicks (Uluiviti), Upper Valley Career Center
Medical Careers Academy, Instructors: Shellie Gyetvai, Jennelle Winn and Tami Yahle
Ulamila Uluiviti is a senior in the Medical Careers Academy program at Upper Valley Career Center. Born in Fiji, at the age of twelve she moved to the United States after her mother died of cancer. Poor healthcare in Fiji motivated Ula to enroll into her career tech program in hopes of returning home, helping the Fijian community.
At school, Ula enjoys learning CPR, First-Aid, Medical Terminology, and she will earn her State Tested Nurse Aide certification. Her dedication earned her induction into the Upper Valley Technical Honor Society and the Rotary Youth Leadership award. Further, she has accumulated 17 semester hours of college credit. Ula continues to impact the community by volunteering at in-patient care facilities. Her passion for helping others led her to SkillsUSA. Elected as SkillsUSA Ohio Regional Secretary, she began creating her footprint in Career Technical Education. On Capitol Hill, she advocated for SkillsUSA and CTE, explaining the impact students like her make. This experience developed a passion to do even more. She was recently elected as the SkillsUSA National Region Three Vice President and now diligently works with her team of fourteen students to be the voice for career tech students across the nation.
Mumina Pemba, Southwestern Career Academy
Multi-Skilled Health Program, Instructor: Kevin Kestner
Mumina Pemba is a senior enrolled in the Multi-Skilled Health program at the South Western Career Academy (SWCA) in Grove City. With a grade point average of 4.65, she ranks in the top 1% of her graduating class. Mumina has previously been awarded the Top 25 and WISE Awards at Westland High School. She also received honor roll every term throughout her high school experience. Mumina partakes in rigorous coursework and takes college courses through Columbus State Community College. By the end of high school, Mumina will have earned 30 college credits.
At school, Mumina has demonstrated her strong leadership skills as President of SWCA’s Student Council, as well as serving as Vice President for both National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society. Outside of school, Mumina also participates in Key Club and is a student ambassador for the SWCA. For the duration of her career-technical education, Mumina has acquired Ohio-Standard State-Tested Nursing Assistant skills. She has completed her clinical experience at Meadow Grove Transitional Care Center and OhioHealth Doctors Hospital. Upon graduation, she will have her CPR, ECG, and Pharmacy Tech certifications.
Throughout high school, Mumina has accumulated over 200 hours of volunteer service at OhioHealth Doctors Hospital. At the hospital, she has also participated in the Teen Summer Bootcamp, where she was given the opportunity to complete volunteer hours, in addition to participating in various simulation labs, such as surgery and OB/GYN. Over the summer, Mumina has taken part in the MD Camp at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Working alongside medical students, she received intensive lectures from doctors, examined cadavers, and gained clinical skills. Mumina plans to continue education and training to become an interventional cardiologist.
Nul Dev Rai - College and Career Academies of Akron (Akron Public)
PLTW Biomedical Science, Instructor: Kelly Dine
Nul Dev Rai is a senior in the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Biomedical Science pathway at North High School in Akron. His outstanding scholarship and character have earned him the respect of both students and staff. He constantly seeks out new information to learn and then applies it to his engineering and research interests. Last year Nul taught himself the brachistochrone curve, building a model of the curve to teach his classmates. He then designed new medical tubing that would maximize the delivery speed of emergency medical fluids. This won him the award for Best Technical Design at the 2018 BEST Medicine Engineering Fair. Nul was also selected as 1 of just 12 students for the highly competitive University of Akron 2018 Summer Engineering Research Internship.
Nul was born in a Nepali refugee camp, living with his sisters in a bamboo hut without running water or electricity. His parents were many miles away in a rudimentary facility where his father was being treated for cancer. He arrived in the U.S. at age 12. To this day, he still continues to overcome numerous life obstacles, never allowing them to stand in his way.
Nul is president of both the International Club and the STEM Club, and Vice President of the Rotary Interact Club. He is a Student Ambassador and a member of the National Honor Society. He also participates in Varsity Soccer, Varsity Tennis, Biomed Club, and HPAC. Nul has completed 11 different community service projects in the past year alone. He volunteers much of his time to Akron Children’s Hospital. Nul is currently vying for the top spot as valedictorian of his senior class.
Nul has already earned IC3 Digital Literacy National Certification. Upon graduation in May, he will also have completed multiple CCP courses at Stark State College, as well as achieved industry certification as a Phlebotomy Technician. He plans to pursue careers in biomedical engineering and medical research.