Samantha Chan, recent graduate of Bob Jones and star performer for the school’s swim program, has been selected as a 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholar among 161 in the country to be chosen. Photo- Josh Berry, Everlong Photography

Samantha Chan Selected Presidential Scholar- Uses Swimming And Academics To Perfection

MADISON- Bob Jones recent graduate Samantha Chan was a multi-faceted student-athlete for Madison’s oldest high school. Her 5.3 grade point average put her second among the 2024 graduating class, she was a three-time state champion swimmer her senior season for the school’s swim team, participated in the Speedo Winter Junior Championships where she competed in seven races and signed an athletic-academic scholarship to attend and swim for Georgia Tech.

To add to her already extraordinary efforts, Chan is one of two from Alabama and 161 outstanding American high school seniors selected for the 60th anniversary of the 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholar.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said, “On behalf of President Biden, I am delighted to celebrate their accomplishments, and encourage these scholars to continue to aim high, lift up others and embrace opportunities to lead.”

“I was surprised I was chosen as I feel like I didn’t deserve the recognition as there are so many others here in Alabama who could have won this award,” said Chan. “I’m honored to be chosen and I’m super grateful for this award. I thank God, my parents and my teachers for their support.”

The 17-year old Chan and her youngster sister, Abby, who just completed her freshman school year, were the success heart and soul of the Patriot’s swim team, which claimed the Class 7A State Championship. Chan won the individual 100 butterfly and was on both the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, which also won gold medals at the AHSAA State Swim Meet. Born in Huntsville to Edwin and Emily Chan, the well-rounded Chan took to the water at age six while she took swim lessons at the Madison branch of the YMCA.

“This Summer I’m swimming long course competition for the Huntsville Swim Association mostly in the 100 and 200 butterfly, 50 freestyle and 100 individual medley events,” said Chan. “I have continued my hard training as I know that will push me forward to what I want to do.”

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on academic success, excellence in the arts and in technical education through essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as, a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership. Chan is one of 161 outstanding American high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, technical expertise, leadership, citizenship, service and contribution to school and community.

Of the 3.7-million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,700 candidates qualified for the 2024 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams through nominations made by chief state school officers, other partner recognition organizations and YoungArts, the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists.

Chan, who scored a 36 on her ACT, added, “I’m excited about getting to Georgia Tech to begin my studies in my major and swim for the Yellowjackets. I know I’ll be among tough competition as my goal in swimming is to make it to the NCAA Championships. Swimming is not my main goal. My education, is as once my swimming years are complete, I want to become a doctor.”

Since 1983, each U.S. Presidential Scholar has been offered the opportunity to name their most influential teacher. Each distinguished teacher is honored with a personal letter from the Secretary of Education. The teacher chosen for recognition by Chan was Mallory King of Bob Jones.

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2024 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an on-line recognition program.

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