Zach Kellner Nominated for Presidential Award for Excellence

Zach Kellner Nominated for Presidential Award for Excellence

Madeline Jaloszynski, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Senior Zachary Kellner is not only achieving academic success in the NDA classroom but also outside of the school.

Kellner has been nominated for the Presidential Award for All Excellence, an excited college counselor, Ms. Becky Bain, informed The Tritonian.

Everyone in the country is automatically entered when they take the ACT or SAT and bubble in that they will share their scores with organizations.

The top 30 ACT scores of each graduating class (seniors 2018, seniors 2019, seniors 2020…) (or SAT scores converted to ACT scores) of each gender for each state are candidates, and a list of the candidates gets released every January.

The Department of Education emailed Kellner informing him that he was on their list. He also received text messages from out-of-state friends who were on the list and checked for him in the Wisconsin section.

Kellner was not nominated by anyone. This award is based on the general component of the scholar program, but some believe there are similar programs that are nomination-based for areas like the arts.

“I think you need a 36 on the ACT to get top 30, or maybe a high 35. Wisconsin is probably easier to get top 30 in than other places like Massachusetts or California, as we only have like 800k or 900k students in preK to grade 12 compared to the 6 million or so of California,” Kellner modestly explained.

“I took the SAT just as a personal preference because I liked the PSAT,” said Kellner.

The next step for Kellner as a candidate is to fill out an application to be a “scholar.” One male and one female from each state are selected as scholars.

The scholars are then flown to Washington D.C. for an awards ceremony where they meet politicians and scientists. The award does not provide any financial aid, but definitely creates the networking opportunities for scholarships.

In the past the scholars are often able to speak with the president.

Kellner has not yet decided where he wants to attend college. He is still waiting to hear back from some colleges and has until March to decide. However, he plans to major in physics and become a physicist.