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RHHS valedictorian named Presidential Scholar
joanna xiao
RHHS Class of 2024 Valedictorian, Joanna Xiao. Photo provided.

Richmond Hill High School (RHHS) and Bryan County Schools are proud to announce that Joanna Yian Xiao, the RHHS Valedictorian of the Class of 2024, has been named a U.S. Presidential Scholar. This prestigious program, established in 1964 by executive order of the President, honors some of the nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors.

Joanna Yian Xiao, recognized for her exceptional academic achievements, is among one of four students in Georgia, and one of 161 students nationwide to receive this honor in 2024. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon high school students in the United States.

Joanna has demonstrated exemplary dedication to her studies, scoring exceptionally well on the SAT, and has been an inspiring leader and role model within the Richmond Hill High School community. Her commitment to excellence extends beyond academics, as she has actively participated in various extracurricular activities, showcasing her talent and leadership skills.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was initially created to recognize outstanding academic achievement, but in 1979, it was expanded to honor students demonstrating exceptional talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. In 2015, the program was further extended to include students who have demonstrated excellence in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are chosen as Presidential Scholars based on their academic achievements, artistic excellence, or accomplishments in career and technical education.

Eligibility for the program includes U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency, graduating between January and August of the current program year, and outstanding performance on the SAT or ACT. Additionally, students must be invited to apply for this honor. Nominations may occur through the Chief State School Officer (CSSO) or by partner recognition organizations.

Joanna will be honored during the annual National Recognition Program in late June, where she will receive a Presidential medallion in commemoration of her achievements.

Richmond Hill High School, Bryan County Schools, and the entire community are incredibly proud of Joanna Yian Xiao and her remarkable accomplishments. Her recognition as a U.S. Presidential Scholar is a testament to her hard work, dedication, and the support of her teachers, family, and peers.

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