Charter School Students Named 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona announced the 57th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, recognizing 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields. Six of the Presidential Scholars are public charter school students.  

“Congratulations to these outstanding scholars! This high honor is a result of your hard work, dedication, and a commitment to using your talents to make the world a better place for all,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “I want to say thank you to the charter school teachers, leaders, and parents of these amazing students. I commend you for creating a community with the critical mission of lifting up the next generation of leaders.” 

The public charter school 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars are:  

  • Viraj Mehta - BASIS Scottsdale Charter, Scottsdale, Ariz.   
  • Rohan P Kanchana - Newark Charter Junior/Senior High School, Hockessin, Del. 
  • Divita Taduvayi - MOT Charter High School, Bear, Del.  
  • Caroline Curran - Sturgis Charter School, Pocasset, Mass.   
  • Pratyush Seshadri - Raleigh Charter High School, Cary, N.C.   
  • Dallin Tyler Christensen - Leadership Academy of Utah, Pleasant View, Utah  

The announcement came as the nation celebrates National Charter Schools Week 2021 and the 30th anniversary of the first public charter school law. Today, 44 states have public charter school laws allowing 3.3 million students to excel at one of 7,500 schools led by nearly 220,000 dedicated teachers.  

What started with one law and one school in Minnesota, has blossomed into a nationwide movement. Student-centered, tuition-free, and always public, charter schools have changed the American public education landscape for the better. National Charter Schools Week is a time for everyone to highlight and celebrate the schools, students, education leaders, and advocates that have demonstrated the strength and promise of the charter school movement over the last 30 years. 

Learn more about National Charter Schools Week.