Olivia Keller, a senior at Palmyra-Macedon High School, is one of 20 students in New York State to be nominated for the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program for Arts and Academics. She is the only student in the Finger Lakes area to be selected for this honor, which is among the nation’s highest recognition for secondary school students.
New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia chose Olivia from among a wide field of top students from across the state who were recommended for the honor earlier this fall by their elected officials. Olivia was nominated by Assemblyman Bob Oaks (R-C 130, Macedon). He called her an “exceptional senior.”
Olivia is the daughter of Joe and Kristie Keller of Palmyra. She is the third of their four daughters. She is the senior class president and has a grade point average exceeding 100. She plans to major in biology or pre-med in college, with a career goal of working with Doctors Without Borders. Olivia hopes to attend either the University of Rochester, St. John Fisher College or the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Pal-Mac school officials note that Olivia excels at college-level academics and has played three sports – basketball, lacrosse, and soccer. She was featured on Dec. 5 as the News 10NBC “Scholar Athlete of the Week.”
“Olivia is a devoted member of the Pal-Mac community,” Assemblyman Oaks said. “However, her community service has extended beyond her hometown, internationally to Kenya and Peru where she has traveled with her family and done volunteer work. I am thrilled that Commissioner Elia chose her as one of the top 10 young women to represent New York. I congratulate Olivia on this outstanding achievement and wish her all the best as she moves forward in the Presidential Scholars Program.”
The final Presidential Scholar selections will be announced in spring 2018, to include one young man and one young woman from each state. The scholars will travel to the White House in June for an award ceremony and to meet with influential Americans.
More About the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program
The program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Two years ago, the program was expanded to recognize student excellence in career and technical education programs.
Jonathan Switzer, a senior at Wayne Central School in Ontario, was one of five career and technical education students chosen by Commissioner Elia in that category this year.