Bay View Student Named Semifinalist in U.S. Presidential Scholars Program


RIVERSIDE — St. Mary Academy – Bay View, a leader in all-girls education since 1874, is proud to announce that Ishita Rai ’20 (Warwick) has been named one of 621 semifinalists in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The semifinalists were selected from nearly 5,600 candidates expected to graduate from U.S. high schools this year, and Rai is one of only seven Rhode Island students who will be advancing to the next round of the selection process to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar.  

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 56th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

Annually, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from among that year’s senior class, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth. All Scholars are invited to Washington, DC, in June for the National Recognition Program, featuring various events and enrichment activities and culminating in the presentation of the Presidential Scholar Medallion during a White House–sponsored ceremony.

A distinguished panel of educators have reviewed these submissions and selected 621 semifinalists. The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of 32 eminent citizens appointed by the President, will select the finalists, and the U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Ishita,” said Colleen Gribbin, Upper School Principal. “Besides her incredible academic achievements, she is a confident, independent, compassionate and socially conscious young woman, and the Commission on Presidential Scholars has recognized that fact with this honor. I look forward to watching Ishita’s talents continue to develop as she moves out into the wider world of higher education.”