3 NEJC students named to prestigious U.S. Presidential Scholars list

Zach Nason has been homeschooled since third grade.
Zach Nason has been homeschooled since third grade.

Three northeast Johnson County high schoolers have been named to one of the most selective academic honor lists in the country.

Akshay Dinakar and Clara Ma of SM East and Zachary Nason, who is home schooled in Prairie Village, are among the fewer than 4,000 students across the country to be named candidates for this year’s U.S. Presidential Scholars program. Just 53 students in the state of Kansas made the list.

The candidates are selected generally based on their SAT and ACT scores. (Dinakar, Ma and Nason were all honored as National Merit Semifinalists this past fall for their performance on the PSAT).

Only as many as 141 students across the country are recognized as U.S. Presidential Scholars each year.

In addition to Dinakar and Ma, three other Shawnee Mission students made the list: Nicholas Leyden, SM Northwest; Regina Yan, SM South; and Elijah Bunde, SM West. Sixteen students from Blue Valley schools were named as candidates.