Ryan Thornton '15 was named one of this year’s 141 Presidential Scholars. He is Burroughs’ 10th Presidential Scholar, preceded by Gretchen Barrow North ’69, Bob Esther ’87, James Grove '88, Alp Aker ’91, Sarah Jost Fouke ’92, Jan Moolsintong ’95, Julie Goran ’96, Katherine Wiltenburg Todrys ’99 and Veronica Sudekum ’02.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was created in 1964 by executive order to recognize the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. The program honors one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Selection criteria include academic success, recommendations and essays, and evidence of community service, leadership and commitment to high ideals.
A National Merit semifinalist, a competitive tennis player, an accomplished bassoonist, a robotics enthusiast and a member of the Burroughs delegation to the The Hague International Model United Nations - Qatar (2015), Ryan was a strong candidate. As part of the application process, he was asked to identify the teacher who most influenced his path. He chose his chemistry teacher and advisor, Sandra Mueller, who traveled with him to Washington, D.C. in June to receive official honors.
Ryan is pictured here with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.