Houston Student Named as US Presidential Scholar in the Arts

Houston Student Named as US Presidential Scholar in the Arts

Houston resident Reagan Lukefahr, who lives in the Houston Heights, has been named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts-the nation's highest honor for high school seniors. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced the 50th class of United States Presidential Scholars, recognizing 141 students for excellence in academics or the arts. Of the 141 Presidential Scholars, only 20 (including Reagan) are Presidential Scholars in the Arts, students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts.

"The extraordinary young men and women being honored for the 50th anniversary of the Presidential Scholars have excelled in their educational, artistic and civic pursuits. They show all of us that when students challenge themselves and commit themselves to excellence, the results can be astounding. These scholars will help move our country forward and will have a lasting impact on their families, communities, and on our society. They represent the potential of all young citizens to lift up America."

Reagan attended Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts until last year when she was selected to complete her senior year at the prestigious University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Reagan has been active in the Houston theatre community for the past ten years. Her first professional acting role was playing Fan in the Alley Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol in 2009. In 2012, she played the lead role in Horse Head Theatre's world premiere production of Your Family Sucks by local Houston playwright Abby Koenig. Reagan has appeared in numerous other productions with several theatres in the greater Houston area, including the Houston Family Arts Center, Playhouse 1960, Country Playhouse and the Crighton Players.

Reagan was nominated as a semi-finalist, having been selected from an initial group of 11,000 applicants, through the National YoungArts Foundation's nationwide YoungArts™ competition.

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

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 6,500 of the nation's top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual ceremony in D.C. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts.

The Presidential Scholars in the Arts will have the honor of showcasing their work at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and will be awarded the Presidential Scholar Medallion at a ceremony in Washington, DC on June 22, 2014.

A complete list of 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars follows and is available at ?http://www.ed.gov/psp.

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