Empowering Dreams for the Future

CCSD News and Announcements
For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
May 4, 2011
Jay Dillon (770) 426-3345

Half of Georgia’s 2011 Presidential Scholars
From Cobb County High Schools

Two of the nation’s 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars for 2011 are from Cobb County high schools! Joan K. Bedinger of Campbell High School and Michelle Lee of Wheeler High School are among just four students statewide to earn the prestigious honor, announced May 2 by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Since its inception in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars program has recognized students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, and service to their community. Students qualify for the honor based on SAT or ACT scores, or by nomination through the nationwide YoungArts competition. A special panel appointed by the President selects winners based on students’ academic performance, written essays, and evidence of community service or leadership. Each Presidential Scholar selected an influential teacher to join him or her for the award presentation June 18 in Washington, D.C.

Joan Bedinger, senior in the Campbell High School International Baccalaureate Program, has excelled in and outside of the classroom. She scored a perfect 2400 on the SAT in 2010 and won first place in the 2010 state PTA Reflections contest for 11th grade literature, advancing to nationals. She is also editor of Campbell’s student literary magazine, Peaches & Pits. Ms. Bedinger plans to attend Princeton University for her post-secondary studies. She selected IB program teacher Thomas Jones to accompany her at the awards ceremony.

Michelle Lee is a senior at Wheeler High School’s Center for Advanced Studies in Science, Mathematics, and Technology. In addition to being named a 2011 Presidential Scholar, Ms. Lee is also a 2011 National Merit Scholar and principal flutist with the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra. The Georgia General Assembly recently recognized Michelle, not only for her academic success, but her service to others. Ms. Lee spent her summer teaching English and computer skills at a local refugee center. She also traveled to Burma, where she taught English and flute to music students. Michelle selected science teacher Dr. Cheryl Crooks as her most influential educator. After graduation, she plans to study Biology at Harvard University.

Additional information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars program is available at www.ed.gov.