Shout out to the smart kids
Two of the five Presidential Scholars from Florida this year are from Tampa: Charles M. Zhu from King High School and Helen M. Johnson, who attends a private school in North Carolina. The Presidential Scholars program recognizes one young man and young woman from each state (along with 15 at-large, and 20 in the arts, which is why Florida has five) who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement (we're talking stratosopheric SAT scores), along with strong leadership, citizenship and community service. In other words, they've got brains and heart. Said U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings in a press release: "They exemplify the standard of excellence that we are striving for in all our schools across the United States, and their skills, energy and innovation will enable America to set a competitive pace in our changing world."
Hillsborough County was also well represented among the semi-finalists for the award, corralling 6 of 17. Besides Zhu and Johnson, they are: Victoria E. Alden from Hillsborough High, Chelsae R. Johansen from Bloomingdale High, Robert M. Parrish from Chamberlain and Marguerite A. Timmel from Berkeley Prep.
- Ron Matus, state education reporter