News & Events

Seth Talyansky '19 Named U.S. Presidential Scholar
Posted 05/05/2019 04:00PM


Statement from Seth

Each U.S. Presidential Scholar is offered the opportunity to name his or her most influential teacher. Seth Talyansky '19, recipient of the award this year, recognized Upper School Spanish teacher Lauren Lauren Reggero-Toledano is this statement:

"My high school did me its best service, I think, in tenth grade, when my Spanish teacher Lauren gave me the opportunity in class to pursue a project of my own interest. I chose to investigate the circumstances of chess across the Spanish­-speaking world. The chess activists of Equatorial Guinea, the sole Hispanophone country outside Iberoamerica and one of the five that I selected, responded eagerly to my queries, launching a large-­scale collaboration in which my classmate and I have helped them develop the national chess scene. Through my work on this project, which Lauren has supported all along, I have gained an appreciation of the Spanish language, and improved my command of it to an extent that I doubt I would have achieved otherwise. This circumstance is easy enough to explain, I believe: by participating in the Spanish­-speaking world, and thus channeling the power of the language, I have become a conscientious student of it. As such, Lauren has helped me realize that my learning can have relevance to present day—that through learning I can contribute. Her pedagogy, fundamentally, has revealed to me that the world is fascinating, and that education is a potent means whereby to explore and advance its fascination."  


Press release from the United States Department of Education:

Seth Talyansky of Portland, Oregon Named 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholar

May 7, 2019 - U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the selection of Seth Talyansky of Portland, Oregon, who attends The Catlin Gabel School in Portland, as a 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholar.

Talyansky 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. The U.S. Presidential Scholars will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington D.C., from June 23-25.

“I want to congratulate this year’s class of Presidential Scholars on their achievement both inside of the classroom and out,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “Their hard work and commitment to excellence, no matter what challenge they are tackling, will serve them well throughout their lifelong learning journeys. I have no doubt that many of tomorrow’s leaders are among this year’s class of Scholars.”

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,200 candidates qualified for the 2019 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArtsTM program.

The 2019 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 from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 7,500 of the nation’s top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual ceremony in D.C. 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.

Since 1983, each U.S. Presidential Scholar has been offered the opportunity to name his or her most influential teacher. Each distinguished teacher is honored with a personal letter from the Secretary of Education.

The teacher chosen for recognition by Talyansky was Lauren Reggero-Toledano of The Catlin Gabel School in Portland, OR.

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