Thiele seeks Presidential Scholar candidates; Island’s Mia Clark was finalist in 2019

Is Shelter Island School harboring students who could be named as U.S. Presidential Scholars?

Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) is looking for students in his district who have performed well throughout their school careers and are in their senior year now.

The Presidential Scholars Program was established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 to recognize high school seniors on the basis of outstanding scholarship.

Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

Eligible students include high school seniors graduating between January and June of 2021 who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.

Shelter Island’s 2019 valedictorian, Mia Clark, was one of 25 students statewide to be a finalist for the honor. She was one of three nominees Mr. Thiele recommended to the State Board of Education.

State Education Department Interim Commissioner Elizabeth R. Berlin will nominate 20 high school seniors – 10 females and 10 males from New York —  to be considered for the honor.  

She will be selecting students after reviewing submissions from those nominated by state legislators. The selection will be based on students who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship, overcoming obstacles and challenges to maintain their academic excellence.

Besides academic success, the commissioner will be looking at student involvement in service to the school and community as well as leadership and character. Each student will be asked to submit writing samples, proof of academic achievements despite carrying heavy workloads and family responsibilities and ways in which they have faced and overcome obstacles on their road to success.

The Education Department officials will look at how family, teachers and administrators have helped prepare students to achieve their goals and the likelihood of success as they move on to their college careers. 

The Interim Commissioner is asking for an additional student to be included as a candidate for recognition for excellence in Career and Technical Education.  She will nominate up to five students in CTE programs, considering academic rigor, technical competence, employability skills, ingenuity, creativity and real-world problem solving.

The first step for Island students is to win the attention of Mr. Thiele by submitting up to a two-page letter of nomination. The legislator will select one female and one male student along with a Career and Technical Education student deserving of the honor.

Letters must reach Mr. Thiele by Monday, Oct. 26, and need to be sent to Assemblyman Fred Thiele via email at [email protected] or snail mail sent to 3350 Noyac Road, Building B, Sag Harbor, N.Y. 11963.

All letters must include the student’s name, gender, home mailing address, email address, as well as the high school name and mailing address.  

For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program and the Commission on Presidential Scholars please visit: