There’s a reason the SkillsUSA Framework’s third component (personal and workplace skills are the first two of the trifecta) isn’t just named “technical skills,” but “technical skills grounded in academics.” Strong academics fuel today’s high-level technical skills, evidenced by the U.S. Department of Education recently naming five outstanding SkillsUSA seniors as 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars, the highest honor for high school students at the federal level. This is the fourth year SkillsUSA members received the honors. The students are:
- Jarod Harris of Seward, Neb., a student at Seward High School and 2019-20 SkillsUSA National High School Parliamentarian
- Daniel Marella of Cranston, R.I., a student at Cranston High School West
- Jake Okun, of Scottsdale, Ariz., a student at Desert Mountain High School
- Saviel Ortiz of Lawrence, Mass., a student at Greater Lawrence Regional Vo-Tech High School
- Elizabeth Ann Wozniak of Meriden, Conn., a student at Orville H. Platt High School
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars honors outstanding students each year based on grades, school transcripts, an essay, community service, leadership and a demonstrated commitment to high ideals.
Established in 1964, the program has honored almost 7,600 of the nation’s top-performing students. This year, the U.S. Presidential Scholars program recognized 161 high-school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts or career and technical education. Usually the scholars are recognized at a Washington, D.C., ceremony, but events may be virtual this year. To learn more and see a full list of the 2020 Presidential Scholars, go to: www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-secretary-education-betsy-devos-names-161-students-2020-us-presidential-scholars.