Maggie Wilkinson, a senior at the Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts (CCA), is one of 161 high school seniors in the country named a 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholar. The U.S. Presidential Scholars award is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students. Seniors selected exemplify academic excellence, leadership qualities, and community service. The distinction is presented on behalf of the President of the United States to seniors of high potential each year.
Ms. Wilkinson was awarded the honor because of her demonstrated excellence in creative arts. Johns Hopkins University, Brown University, Dartmouth University, and Princeton University recently accepted her for admission, but she selected Princeton. She plans to continue her study of creative writing and English at Princeton University this fall when she joins the Class of 2024.
Ms. Wilkinson’s other accolades include being named a 2019 YoungArts Foundation Finalist in writing and poetry, the organization’s highest honor. She was also a winner in the 2020 Chattanooga Photographic Society’s Youth Showcase. Wilkinson won first place in architecture and photojournalism. She received second place in people and animals and third in monochrome. The national showcase, as well as the Hunter Museum, will exhibit her winning work.
“Maggie Wilkinson is one artist who has created her legacy of success,” said Debbie Smith, principal of Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts. “She has harnessed her creativity using her pen to convey her written words, and she is a master at retelling stories that pull you to the edge of your seat and have you anxiously waiting to hear what she will say next. Her instructors, our staff, and the administration celebrate Maggie’s success as she continues to create a benchmark of excellence for all who encounter her.”
Ms. Wilkinson is continuing what is becoming a tradition at CCA as this is the second consecutive year a Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts student has been honored as a Presidential Scholar. Zavier Chavez, a 2019 graduate of the Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts (CCA), was in the select group last year.
Scholars are selected annually by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by the President, based on academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and writing ability. This year, more than 5,300 candidates qualified for the 2020 program determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams, through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation.