Ciera Cummings named Presidential Scholar

Ciera K. Cummings of Lihu‘e was been named the Hawai‘i 2008 Female Presidential Scholar by the United States Department of Education.

Of the 1 million graduating seniors across the nation, 139 scholars were selected on the basis of outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, academic performance and transcripts, school evaluations, essay, service to community, as well as personal accomplishments.

One male and one female were named Hawai‘i’s Presidential Scholars by the presidential appointed 29-member selection committee. Ciera, who graduates from Kamehameha and Christopher Burniske of Punahou School were awarded all-expense paid trips to Washington DC June 21 to 24 for their accomplishments. While in Washington the scholars will attend functions at Kennedy Center and the White House.

The Presidential Scholar program began in 1964 under Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency and in 1983 the program also began honoring each Presidential Scholar’s most inspirational teacher. Cummings’ said that her most inspirational teacher was Jay Kauka, who teaches Hawaiian history and advanced placement psychology. Kauka will also travel to Washington DC for the ceremony.

Cummings attended King Kaumuali‘i Elementary School and Kapa‘a Middle School before enrolling at Kamehameha School as a seventh grade boarding student. In August she will continue her education at Mills College in California.

Of the six Hawai‘i presidential scholar semi-finalists, Kaua‘i was also represented by Kaua‘i High senior Nicole Gaetjens.

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