Nevada Department of EducationNevada Department of Education

    Two Nevada Students Named 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars

    May 13, 2021

    CARSON CITY, Nev. – Two Nevada students were among 161 high school seniors announced by the U.S. Department of Education Secretary Dr. Miguel Cardona as the 57th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars.
    The Presidential Scholar program recognizes students for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields. Nevada’s 2021 Presidential Scholars are:

    • Derek Lin Chien, Davidson Academy of Nevada, Reno
    • Priyanka Senthil, Davidson Academy of Nevada, Reno

    “It is my honor to congratulate Derek and Priyanka for their accomplishments and demonstrated success in academics, leadership, and community service,” said Jhone Ebert, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Not only have these seniors worked hard and excelled throughout their educational careers, but they exemplify the resilience and perseverance of the Class of 2021.”

    “The 2021 Presidential Scholars represent extraordinary achievements for our extraordinary times,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I am delighted to join President Biden in saluting these outstanding young people for their achievements, service, character and continued pursuit of excellence. Their examples make me proud and hopeful about the future. Honoring them can remind us all of the great potential in each new generation and renew our commitment to helping them achieve their dreams.”

    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. Nevada’s Presidential Scholars were chosen from among an outstanding group of semi-finalists. In addition to the selected Scholars, the semifinalists from Nevada were:

    • Ellie A. Huh, Davidson Academy of Nevada, Reno
    • Vihaan Jain, West Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas
    • Jake W. Maeng, The Meadows School, Las Vegas
    • Alexandra Jean Roberts, Amplus Academy, Las Vegas

    Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 6,000 candidates qualified for the 2021 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations and the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ program.

    As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2021 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 7,600 of the nation’s top-performing students. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

    The Presidential Scholars Class of 2021 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer.

    A complete list of 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available at



    Jessica Todtman