The Edmond Sun

February 17, 2014

Presidential Scholars program names Edmond students

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — The U.S. Department of Education and the Commission on Presidential Scholars have named five students from Edmond Public Schools and one Deer Creek graduate as candidates for the prestigious U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Of the students selected as candidates only 141 will be chosen from across the nation to be Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

The program was established in 1964 by executive order of the president to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors.

The following Edmond students will have the opportunity to become U.S. Presidential Scholars based on their academic achievement or on their academic and artistic scholarship in the visual arts, performing arts or creative writing.

Edmond students nominated include: Joseph C. Geatches, Edmond North High School; Alexander D. Jablonski, Edmond Santa Fe High School; Steven B. Kappen, Edmond Santa Fe High School; David S. Milligan, Edmond Memorial High School; and Tyler C. Robison, Edmond Memorial High School.

Steven’s parents are Ann and Biju Kappen.

“I have been greatly inspired by many teachers, but two who really come to mind are my band director, Mr. Michael Lowery, and my old academic team coach, Mr. Mark Becannen,” Steven said. “Both teachers have inspired me to push myself and continuously improve.”

Physics is Steven’s favorite subject because “I just really love the way it can explain some of the world around us.”

He is a member of Rachel’s Challenge, Latin club, band, academic team and National Honor Society.

Steven said an adult he would most like to emulate is his grandfather.

“He has always been a role model to me,” Steven said.

David’s parents are Amy and Thomas Milligan.

He said the teacher who has inspired him most is T.J. Dortch.

“I have been inspired by my science, math and chemistry teachers and math has always fascinated me,” David said, “especially since my father has his Ph.D. in mathematics, and science has always seemed to be the practical application of math, at least to me.

“Chemistry is my favorite subject,” David said. “It is amazing to see how things interact with each other to perform a myriad of reactions, be it something as life-saving as medical technology, or something as pleasant as a tiny flame.”

David said he would be proud to hold the same standards as his father especially as he continues to experience new situations.

He participates in orchestra and men’s chorus and recently earned his Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scouts.

He does volunteer work at the Food Bank and the Metropolitan Library and received his Eagle award by volunteering at Arcadia Lake.

Deer Creek’s Jacob Young graduated early from high school and is now attending a local university.

“These students deserve our respect and admiration,” said Superintendent David Goin. “Their accomplishments put them among distinguished company.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education website, students chosen as U.S. Presidential Scholars receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in June and the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House, in commemoration of their achievements. During their visit to Washington, Scholars have access to important national and international figures, including government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other accomplished people.