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Clayton Drazner, a graduating senior at Lakehill Preparatory School, has been named a candidate in the 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Fewer than 1% (roughly 2,600) of the 3.4 million graduating seniors in the U.S. have been selected for this distinction.

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 49th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character, and involvement in community and school activities.

Candidates are selected for their exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT Assessment. They then go through a rigorous application process where they must submit essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports, and transcripts, which are then evaluated. Approximately 500 semifinalists will be announced in April.

The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of eminent citizens appointed by the President, will make final selection of the Scholars. One male student and one female Scholar are chosen from each state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and from families of U.S. citizens living abroad. In addition, up to 15 Scholars are chosen at-large. The U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May.

Scholars will be invited to Washington, DC, for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities with their elected representatives, educators, and other leading individuals in public life.

"These astonishing young people have succeeded in the highest possible level of high school academic rigor. They go on to attend the nation's top colleges and universities, and to exercise their gifts on behalf of our country and the world," said a program spokesperson.