St. Mary's Academy Rishika Kartik named 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar

St. Mary's Academy Rishika Kartik named 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar


St. Mary’s Academy senior Rishika Kartik has been named a 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar, one of two honored in Colorado. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced today the 58th class of  U.S. Presidential Scholars, recognizing 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

As part of the award program, Rishika nominated her Spanish teacher, Dr. Amy VonCanon, for the Presidential Scholars Program Teacher Recognition Award for "spreading passion about her subject, demonstrating dedication to the student learning experience, and going above and beyond in making an impact in the classroom and school community." 

“Our 2022 Presidential Scholars represent the best of America, and remind us that when empowered by education, there are no limits to what our young people can achieve," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "Today, I join President Biden to celebrate a class of scholars whose pursuit of knowledge, generosity of spirit, and exceptional talents bring our nation tremendous pride. Throughout one of the most trying periods in our nation’s history and amid our recovery from the pandemic, our students have once again demonstrated their strength and that they have so much to contribute to our country. Thanks to them, I know America's future is bright."

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership.

Of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,000 candidates qualified for the 2022 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by chief state school officers, other partner recognition organizations and Young Arts, the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists.

As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education. 

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 7,900 of the nation’s top-performing students. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

Rishika’s distinguished 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar award follows the recent announcements that she has been named a National Merit Scholar, a Coca Cola Scholar, and a Taco Bell Live Más Scholar. Earlier this year, she was also recognized with the President’s Volunteer Service Award for the extraordinary time dedicated to her work as an advocate for and teacher of tactile art for the blind through national and local organizations.

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2022 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program.

This is the third time an SMA student has received this distinguished award. Anne Kerwin '81 and Mary Berger '85 share the honors.

St. Mary's Academy is Denver's premier independent, Catholic, coeducational Pre-K to Grade 8 and All-Girls High School, founded in 1864 by the Sisters of Loretto. Based in Cherry Hills Village, St. Mary's Academy inspires leaders to act with integrity, seek justice, build community, and change the world.