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Jim Hill Senior Named U.S. Presidential Scholar

May 8, 2019

Jim Hill Senior Named U.S. Presidential Scholar
Cadet Ruben Banks

Ruben Banks of Jim Hill High School has been named a U.S. Presidential Scholar for 2019. He is one of three Mississippi high school students and 161 high school seniors nationwide making up the 55th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars. These students are recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields. Banks is a 2019 United States Senate Youth Program selectee and a recipient of the 2019 Legion of Valor Bronze Cross Award. For the past year, Banks has served as Brigade Commander over all seven JROTC units in Jackson Public Schools. He is president of the Jim Hill High School Student Government Association and past governor of Magnolia State Mississippi Boys State 2018.

The other two Mississippi students are Hamilton Wan of the Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science and Eliza Burnham of Jackson Preparatory School.

"This accomplishment is worthy of celebration, and the students who earned this distinction demonstrate what diligence and commitment to academic and personal excellence can bring," said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright.

"I want to congratulate this year’s class of Presidential Scholars on their achievement both inside of the classroom and out. Their hard work and commitment to excellence, no matter what challenge they are tackling, will serve them well throughout their lifelong learning journeys," said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. "I have no doubt that many of tomorrow’s leaders are among this year’s class of Scholars."

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

More than 5,200 candidates qualified for the 2019 awards by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams or through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations and the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ competition. As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman 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 7,500 of the nation’s top-performing students with an annual ceremony in Washington, D.C. The 2019 ceremony will be held Sunday, June 23. Each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion.

Learn more about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.