Briana Heaney Published

Two W.Va. Students Named U.S. Presidential Scholars

A blue banner shows to circle cut outs with an Asian girl in one and a Caucasian boy in the other (left to right). The banner reads Congratulations to out 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars.
Grant and Lauren Shen are West Virginias 2024 Presidential Scholars.
Courtesy of West Virginias Department of Education

Lauren Shen, from Morgantown High School in Monongalia County, and Grant Kenamond, from Wheeling Park High School in Ohio County, received the honor. They are part of a group of 161 students nationwide to receive this recognition.

“West Virginia students are world-class scholars, and Lauren and Grant are exceptional ambassadors for our state,” said State Superintendent of Schools Michele L. Blatt. “These students exemplify scholarly accomplishment, excellence and a commitment to civic responsibility that is inspiring. We wish them the very best in their future endeavors.”

The students are recognized based on academic success, artistic and technical excellence, performance in career technical education, and a demonstrated commitment to ethical standards. The students will be part of an online ceremony over the summer. 

The program was established by President Lyndon B. Johnson 60 years ago in 1964. One boy and one girl are picked from each state, plus D.C., Puerto Rico, and Americans living abroad. There is also a pool of 55 students who are picked for academic, artistic, and technical achievement. 

Out of 3.7 million high school students set to graduate this year, nearly 6,000 students qualify for the award, but only 161 students receive the recognition of being a presidential scholar.