Five Kentucky students named 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars

Meeting notice graphic featuring the Kentucky Department of Education and United We Learn logos

News Release

Media Contact: Jennifer Ginn

Director of Communications

Office: (502) 564-2000, ext. 4601

Advisory 24-125


May 9, 2024

Graphic reading: KDE News, Kentucky Department of Education

Five Kentucky students named 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Five Kentucky students are among the 161 high school seniors named to the U.S. Presidential Scholars class of 2024 for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

The Kentucky students are:

  • Owen Matthew Borden, Highlands High School (Fort Thomas Independent);
  • Jennifer Mi Nguyen, The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics at Morehead State University;
  • Joshua Zyzak, Beechwood High School (Beechwood Independent);
  • Chase R. Phillips, duPont Manual High School (Jefferson County); and
  • Sarah Elise Cauley, Murray High School (Murray Independent).

“We at the Kentucky Department of Education thank the teachers and families who support and encourage these students every day and congratulate Owen, Jennifer, Joshua, Chase and Sarah on being chosen for such a prestigious honor,” said Kentucky Interim Commissioner of Education Robin Fields Kinney. “Being named as a U.S. Presidential Scholar is one of the highest honors a high school student can attain. We are very proud of them and know they are on the path toward a successful and fulfilling future.”

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2024 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program.

“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,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars 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.

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 YoungArts, 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.

A complete list of 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available at