MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) -- Two city of Madison students will represent Alabama next month in Washington D.C. as state finalists for the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. With only two selected per state and a couple dozen at-large for a total of 141 nationwide, you can imagine of the odds of Alabama’s finalists emerging from the same school district, much less, the same school.
That is the case with Bob Jones High School seniors Martin Wang and David Hergenroeder. Bob Jones principal Robby Parker says it is a testament to the young men and to all those who have taught and mentored them.
"They are absolutely the creme of the crop," beamed Parker at a recognition ceremony Monday, "I couldn't be more proud of them but this is a great honor for Bob Jones High School and for the entire Madison City School System."
Bob Jones' college and career readiness counselor Sheila Roberts say there was a lot of hard work involved just to be considered.
"There are many, many essays involved in the process and these young men are prolific writers and can very well express themselves thanks to the teachers here at Bob Jones helping them," says Roberts.
Both Wang and Hergenroeder had plenty of people to thank as their parents and instructors they listed as their most influential teachers listened on.
"Just a lot of help from people in the community and the teachers here and my boy scout troupe has been a really big help in developing my character," says Wang.
"I'd like to thank my parents and family for supporting me and then of course my counselors and my teachers," Hergenroeder says.
Martin Wang's plans will take him to Auburn University's engineering college in the fall. David Hergenroeder, the third in his family to be recognized as a presidential scholar finalist, will begin engineering studies at Yale University come fall.
The female presidential scholar for the state of Alabama is also from Madison County. Hema Pingali attends Randolph School in Huntsville.
Click here for a complete list of the 2013 presidential scholars.