Bay, Westlake seniors make list for prestigious honor

Bay High senior Alana Bernys and Westlake High senior Alex Ikezawa have been named as Presidential Scholar candidates in the first round of the highly selective national academic honor.

The United States Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by Executive Order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. The selection of approximately 4,000 original program candidates generally is made based on SAT and ACT scores. Approximately 800 candidates are named semifinalists and forwarded to a Commission on Presidential Scholars for further review. The commission will select up to 161 Presidential Scholars finalists.

Alana earned the highest possible composite score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam, and she has been named a National Merit Semi-finalist. She is a member of Bay High's National Honor Society and has been a Bay High Rockette and a team leader for the school's Team Africa. She has been a serious student of ballet for many years. While Alana hasn't yet decided on a future college or career, she is interested in doing medical research. "I will probably major in biochemistry or microbiology," she said.

Alex also earned a perfect 36 on the ACT last year. He is an all-state violinist and served as assistant concertmaster of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra in Cleveland, the only youth orchestra in the country dedicated to the study and performance of contemporary orchestral literature. He also is a member of the WHS Orchestra, National Honor Society and Student Council. Alex is part of the instrumental cover band “Atlas” with friends.

Scholars are chosen on the basis of their accomplishments in many areas – academic and artistic success, leadership, and involvement in school and community – and represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth. They are invited to Washington, D.C., in June to participate in the National Recognition Program, featuring various events and enrichment activities, and culminating in the presentation of the Presidential Scholars Medallion during a White House-sponsored ceremony.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 10:12 AM, 02.16.2016