Kearney High student named 2022 Presidential Scholar

One of 161 seniors selected for 58th Class
Isabella Cao has been named a U.S. Presidential Scholar.
Isabella Cao has been named a U.S. Presidential Scholar.(Kearney Public Schools/Dept. of Education)
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 11:11 AM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Isabella Q. Cao has been named a 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar. The Kearney High student is one of 161 high school seniors who received the honor for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona made the announcement of the 58th class, comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education.

The other Nebraskan who received the honor was Jonathon W. Cenovic, from Brownell Talbot School in Omaha.

“Our 2022 Presidential Scholars represent the best of America, and remind us that when empowered by education, there are no limits to what our young people can achieve,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Today, I join President Biden to celebrate a class of scholars whose pursuit of knowledge, generosity of spirit, and exceptional talents bring our nation tremendous pride. Throughout one of the most trying periods in our nation’s history and amid our recovery from the pandemic, our students have once again demonstrated their strength and that they have so much to contribute to our country. Thanks to them, I know America’s future is bright.”

Isabella Cao, daughter of Haishi Cao and Yue Liu, is a 4.0 scholar and valedictorian. She has a number of accomplishments on her resume including the ACT Honor Roll, President’s Academic Fitness Award, Omaha World-Herald Academic All-State Team and Omaha World-Herald Academic 1st Team West-Central. She is also a National Merit Finalist, on National Honor Society, president of the FBLA, co-founder of the Student Diversity Board and Competitive Math Club and Youth Friend of Kearney 2022.

She is attending Harvard University.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership.

Of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,000 candidates qualified for the 2022 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by chief state school officers, other partner recognition organizations and YoungArts, the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists.

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