Aiken High’s Tucker named U.S. Presidential Scholar

Aiken High School student Frelicia Tucker, already a Wendy’s High School Heisman winner and recipient of a $20,000 scholarship from Coca-Cola, has been named a U.S. Presidential Scholar.

 

She is one of three from South Carolina. The others are Jenning Chen, of Spring Valley High School in Richland School District 2; and Devin Srivastava, of Spartanburg Day School. State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman made the announcement Wednesday.

“I am so proud to recognize these outstanding students for their academic excellence and achieving this national honor,” she said. “They are models of success for their districts, our state, and now our entire nation.”

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was expanded to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program grew to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

Each year, up to 161 students are named Presidential Scholars. This year’s scholars will attend the National Recognition Program in Washington in June and receive Presidential Scholars Medallions at a White House-sponsored ceremony.

Tucker, Aiken High School’s student body president, is in the top 1 percent of her graduating class. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, an AP Scholar with distinction, State NAACP Youth president, captain of the track and field team, and holder of a state record in the 400-meter hurdles, plus four school track records.

She won a $10,000 scholarship as a Wendy’s High School Heisman, and will attend Rice University in Houston.

Her parents, Marvin and Alisha Johnson, are “go-getters” who taught her to be the same, she said in December after the Wendy’s announcement.

“Frelicia is a champion in everything that she does,” said Aiken County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford. “She excels inside and outside the classroom by approaching each and every aspect of her life with the same passion and determination she has displayed as an academic scholar and elite athlete.”

Reach James Folker at (706) 823-3338 or james.folker@augustachronicle.com

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