Presidential Scholar Honored

A Presidential Scholar Photo

Congratulations to Syosset High School senior Ben Rhee who is a member of the 53rd class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, which was recently announced by the U.S. Department of Education. Ben is one of just 161 high school seniors named a Presidential Scholar in 2017 for their accomplishments in academics, the arts and career and technical education fields.

The White House Committee for Presidential Scholars selects winners annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.    

“It never ceases to amaze me the range of talents that our students possess and the exemplary honors they earn,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tom Rogers. “When you look at Ben’s resume of accomplishments it’s really no surprise that he is the recipient of such an elite award. On behalf of the Syosset CSD and the Board of Education I commend him on being named [a] Presidential Scholar and thank all of his teachers through the years, his family and everyone who has been a positive influence on his life.”                               

Ben is the Class of 2017 salutatorian, was a National Merit Finalist and a National AP Scholar of Distinction. He serves as editor-in-chief of the high school newspaper “The Pulse,” is senior class treasurer and vice president of Model Congress. This year Ben was also named a Regeneron prizewinning scholar and has reached the finals and semifinals in national Chemistry and Biology Olympiads respectively, while achieving multiple honors in Mathletes. An award-winning violinist with the school’s chamber orchestra, Ben is the Chamber Music Club president and has been selected for All-National and All-Eastern ensembles. In addition to all of this, he finds time to volunteer at a local nursing facility and New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Ben will attend Harvard and major in biosciences.                   

“I'd like to thank everyone who has helped and encouraged me to get where I am today,” said Ben.” This honor doesn't just represent me, it represents the whole community of family, teachers, friends, and mentors who have always been there and made Syosset such a great place to remember."

Ben named chemistry teacher Ann Cassin as the teacher who influenced him the most throughout his high school career, a requirement of the Presidential Scholarship essay. “She has been more than just a teacher to me. She has taught me a great deal about life,” said Ben. “She cares for all of her students.”

Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, scholars in the Arts and 20 in Career and Technical Education. Ben and the other recipients will be honored during a ceremony in Washington D.C. on June 18.

Syosset Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante, Deputy Superintendent Adele Bovard, Cassin and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tom Rogers congratulate Ben here.