Monongalia County Presidential Scholar Award winners

Monongalia County Schools Twitter image.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Monongalia County schools have the only two U.S. Presidential Scholars in West Virginia.

Alice Guo from Morgantown High School and Luke Watson from University High School, were the recipients of the award, two of 161 winners from across the country. The Monongalia County Board of Education formally congratulated the students as part of their regular meeting Tuesday.

“To put this accomplishment into perspective, there are about 3.6 million high school seniors graduating this year, approximately 6,500 recieve this recognition,” said Morgantown High School Teacher Jenny Secreto. “A U.S. Presidential Scholar Finalist, there are 161 of those chosen,” she said.

Alice Guo, will attend Stanford in the upcoming fall semester, as a computer science major. She was one of twelve Morgantown High Candidates that were nominated for the award and was also a National Merit Scholar Award winner as well as an AP Scholar. Guo also worked with nationally renound organizations and universities ahead of her nomination.

“This past summer, I was doing research with the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and basically I was analyzing big cluster data for microlensing events,” said Guo

Luke Watson, plans to attend the University of Virginia, as a physics major. A 4.3 GPA student, he also was a National Merit Scholar Award winner, and a contributer in after school activities where he performed in school plays. His work as a University Hawk, was pointed out by members of University High School administration in the ceremony.

“I know he has great plans and just like everyone else, is going to do some great things, and hopfeully you come back to Morgantown,” said University HIgh School Assistant Principal Jason Pauley in Watson’s presentation.

The awards recieved by both Guo and Watson, were part of several accomplishments made by the Monongalia County schools Class of 2022. Between both University High School and Morgantown High School, there are over fifth teen National Merit Scholar Award winners, over seventy AP Scholar Award winners and scholarship recipients to various colleges that totalled more than $4 million in awarded tuition.

“I think it’s very impressive that we have two students that received this award out of 161 in the nation,” said Pauley. “We have a great set of schools in this county and this is phenominal what we’ve done,” he said.