Maine Students Named Semifinalists In U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

The following Maine high school seniors have been named semifinalists in the 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

  • Charles Alexander Newman, Calais – Woodland High School
  • Rohan Ben Freedman, Cape Elizabeth – Cape Elizabeth High School
  • Alice Nell Hauser, Kennebunk – Kennebunk High School
  • Emily Lau, Islesboro – Islesboro Central School
  • Max Saffer-Meng, South Portland – South Portland High School
  • Katherine Yoon, Hallowell – Yongsan International School of Seoul

A distinguished panel of educators reviewed submissions and selected 621 semifinalists out of nearly 5,300 entrants from U.S. high schools in 2019. The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the President, will select the finalists, and the U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President to recognize some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership, and service to school and community.  It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students demonstrating exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts.  In 2015, the program was expanded once again to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical fields.  Annually, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from among that year’s senior class, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth. Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 55th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors.

Scholars will be invited to Washington, DC for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholar Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities.

For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program in Maine, contact Beth Lambert,, 207-624-6642. For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, parents and students can call the U.S. Presidential Scholars Office at 507.931.8345, or send an e-mail to