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CNS Senior Thomas Wills II named U.S. Presidential Scholar - one of only six in New York state

In a May 9, 2024 press release from the United States Department of Education, the North Syracuse Central School District learned that Cicero-North Syracuse High School Senior Thomas Wills, II, has been named a 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholar. Thomas is one of only six students in New York State and 161 in the entire United States, to have earned this prestigious honor. 

In the press release, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said, “The 161 high school seniors selected for the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Presidential Scholars represent the best of our nation’s schools and inspire hope in the bright future of this country, On behalf of President Biden,
I am delighted to celebrate their accomplishments, and encourage these scholars to continue to aim high, lift up others, and embrace opportunities to lead.”
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects students annually based on academic success, excellence in the arts and in technical education, through essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership.

Earlier this school year, Thomas became the district's first-even Student Ex-Officio Board of Education member. He has received numerous academic awards as well as several commendations for community service activities. Of the recognition, NSCSD Superintendent of Schools Daniel D. Bowles, commented, "Thomas is an extraordinary young man and a brilliant student. We continue to be impressed with his academic excellence along with his dedication to his school and his peers. This is the first time in the history of the NSCSD with one of our students being honored at this level and we are incredibly proud to share this tremendous news."
Of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,700 candidates qualified for the 2024 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by chief state school officers, other partner recognition organizations and? Young Arts, the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists.
As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of two students from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education.?
Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 8,200 of the nation's top-performing students. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. 2024 is the program’s 60th anniversary.
The Presidential Scholars Class of 2024 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program.
A complete list of 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars follows and is also available by clicking here.