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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — A local high schooler was one of 161 students to be selected as a 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars is a group of students that are recognized for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

James Clemens student, Yewon Lee was recognized as one of only three Alabama students to make the cut. She has attended Madison City Schools since Kindergarten.

I am very proud of Yewon Lee at James Clemens High School for the prestigious honor of being named a U.S. Presidential Scholar. This is akin to the Heisman of academics, representing the best of the best among hundreds of thousands of students in Alabama and millions across the nation.

Madison City Schools Superintendent Ed Nichols

“Throughout one of the most trying periods in our nation’s history and amid our recovery from the pandemic, our students have once again demonstrated their strength and that they have so much to contribute to our country. Thanks to them, I know America’s future is bright,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a press release.

Scholars are selected annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership.

3.7 million students are expected to graduate high school this year and more than 5,000 candidates qualified for the 2022 awards. Only 14 students in Alabama qualified, according to Nichols, and three of them were from the Tennessee Valley.

Bob Jones High School student, Aubteen-Pour Biazar and New Century Technology High School student, Alexander Ivan, were selected as semi-finalists.

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2022 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program.

A complete list of 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available here.