Staples High School Student Named 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholar

Staples High School Student Named 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholar

The White House Commission of Presidential Scholars selects scholars based on their academic success, among other factors.

WESTPORT, CT — Leigh M. Foran, a Staples High School senior and this year’s Valedictorian, has been named a 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholar, announced Gov. Ned Lamont and Connecticut Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker last week.

Foran is one of three Connecticut students who were named on Thursday as 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.


The recognition is one of the nation’s highest honors for graduating high school seniors. Last week, Foran was also named a National Merit $2500 Scholarship winner.

In addition to Foran, the other U.S. Presidential Scholars from Connecticut are:

  • Annika Fleur Emilia Mengwall, Darien High School (Darien)
  • Cy J. Pavlov, Trumbull High School (Trumbull)

A complete list of 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available at

“I am excited to extend my congratulations to Annika, Cy, and Leigh on receiving this prestigious national honor in recognition of their academic achievements,” said Gov. Lamont in a statement. “They represent some of the very best of Connecticut, and we are proud to have such accomplished students representing our state. I look forward to witnessing their future educational and career accomplishments. Connecticut is home to some of the best schools in the nation, and that is due in large part to the incredible teachers and faculty we have in our state who dedicate themselves to providing our students with the highest-quality education possible.”

Added Commissioner Russell-Tucker, “Congratulations to Annika, Cy, and Leigh who were named today as 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars. This prestigious honor is a testament to their hard work, dedication, and exceptional talent. This is a remarkable achievement that reflects their outstanding academic abilities, strong work ethic, and impressive leadership skills, making them exemplary representatives of our state. We look forward to the next phase of their academic journey and the positive impact they will continue to make in their communities.”

From the announcement:

The U.S. Department of Education selected the program’s 60th class of 161 high school seniors from a national pool of student semifinalists, who were nominated for their high academic performance and distinguishing themselves by overcoming hardships, achieving a unique accomplishment, or demonstrating outstanding leadership.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Education invites states to nominate students for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The Connecticut State Department of Education invites school districts to recommend students for the program.

The White House Commission of Presidential Scholars selects scholars 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.

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2024 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program.

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