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Shukla named Presidential Scholar

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced the selection of 141 outstanding high school seniors as the 2007 Presidential Scholars.

Umang Shukla, senior at Farragut High School, is among this select list.

These students have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service and contribution to school and community. Presidential Scholars will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington D.C., June 23-27.

“The two-thousand seven Presidential Scholars represent the great gift we have in our nation’s youth,” Spellings said. “Their academic achievement and their spirit of leadership and service will ensure their success in the twenty-first century knowledge economy. They exemplify the standard of excellence that we are striving for in all our schools across the United States, and their skills energy and innovation will enable America to set a competitive pace in our changing world.”

Each Presidential Scholar invites his or her most inspiring and challenging teacher to travel to Washington D.C. to receive a Teacher Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Education and to participate in the recognition events. Shukla has named Candace A. Lynch, English teacher at Farragut High School, as his most influential teacher. He cited Lynch’s dedication, her sense of humor and her ability to inspire students among the major reasons for choosing her as his most influential teacher.

Shukla achieved a perfect score of 36 out of 36 on his ACT test. Nationally, out of 410,000 students who took the exam, only 91 students achieved the perfect score. On his SAT test, Shukla achieved a 99 percentile score. He is also a National Merit Scholarship winner. Among the 1.4 million students who were eligible for this honor, only about 8,200 actually go on to win a scholarship award.

Shukla has received admission as well as scholarship offers from numerous outstanding national universities and plans to pursue higher education at Harvard University in Boston, Mass.

He is the youngest of the three children of Jyotindra and Prerana Shukla. Jyotindra is an engineer and is director of risk management for ALSTOM Power, Inc. They have lived in Farragut since 1989.

The Presidential Scholars program was created in 1964 to honor high academic achievement. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in visual, literary, and performing arts. For the past 43 years, this prestigious program has honored more than 5,000 of the nations top performing students.

Of the three million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 2,700 candidates qualified for the basis of outstanding performance on the College Board’s Scholastic Aptitude Test and American College Test exams, or by nomination through the nationwide Young Arts talent search conducted by the National foundation for Advancement in Arts.


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