2 Blue Valley North students named Presidential Scholars

Luke Chen, left, and Lizzie Place, both Blue Valley North High School seniors, have been named U.S. Presidential Scholars. Photo of Chen via LinkedIn. Photo of Place credit to Lucie Krisman

Two Blue Valley North High School students have nabbed a prestigious national academic honor.

Both Elizabeth “Lizzie” Place and Luke Chen, seniors at BV North, are among a select number of students to be named U.S. Presidential Scholars — an annual recognition of students across the U.S. for their academic achievements.

161 students are Presidential Scholars nationwide

  • Place and Chen are the only students in Kansas to have made the final list this year.
  • They both plan to attend Harvard University this fall.
  • “I would like to express that we could not be prouder of both Lizzie and Luke,” said Tyson Ostroski, BV North’s principal, in a press release. “The honor of Presidential Scholar is a testament to the hard work and dedication they have demonstrated throughout their educational careers.”

They both plan on attending Harvard this fall

  • Chen wants to study chemical and physical biology, while Place has plans to study history and literature, along with American government.
  • Chen was part of BV North’s two-time Science Olympiad state championship team, and he also received perfect scores on the SAT and ACT. He is president of the school’s National Honor Society, and volunteered helping Ukrainian refugees in Romania last year.
  • Place is active on BV North’s debate team and was a National Merit Scholarship finalist. She also created the website Take A Hike KC, meant to be a comprehensive and crowdsourced list of hiking and biking trails in the Kansas City metro.

Presidential Scholars are among nation’s top high school seniors

  • The federal program started in 1964, and this year’s list marks the 59th class of the program.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Education, the program aims to recognize the nation’s top high seniors in academic, arts and technical fields.
  • Students earn invitations to the program by scoring highly on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by chief state school officers or other partner recognition organizations — such as YoungArts, the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists.

Other Blue Valley students have earned academic accolades

  • This year, nine Blue Valley high school students earned perfect scores on the ACT exam, earning these nine students recognition last week by the Blue Valley Board of Education, during its monthly meeting.
  • Nine Blue Valley high school seniors also made this year’s slate of National Merit scholarship winners — which factored in academic achievements like grades, course difficulty levels and Preliminary SAT scores.

Related news: Nine Blue Valley students named National Merit winners