Timothy J. Pratt, a graduating senior at William S. Rogers High School, has been named one of 689 semifinalists in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The semifinalists were selected from nearly 4,700 candidates expected to graduate from U .S. high schools in the year 2016.

Tim was one of ten Rhode Island students selected for this program, the lone student from Aquidneck Island.

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 52nd year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in J 964 by Executive Order of the President to recognize some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership, and service to school and community. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students demonstrating exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. In 201 5, the program was expanded once again to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical fields. Annually, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from among that year’s senior class, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth. All Scholars are invited to Washington, DC in June for the National Recognition Program, featuring various events and enrichment activities and culminating in the presentation of the Presidential Scholars Medal l ion during a White House-sponsored ceremony.

A distinguished panel of educators have reviewed these submissions and selected 689 semifinalists. The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the President, will select the finalists, and 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.

Rhode Island Semifinalists for the US Presidential Scholars Program RI

  • RI – Barrington – Vivian K Tian, Barrington High School
  • RI – Cranston – [**]Erin C Blake, Cranston High School West
  • RI – East Greenwich – Grace E Miner, East Greenwich High School RI – East Greenwich – Xiao Yi Wu, East Greenwich High School
  • RI – Greenville – [**]Angela T Gattinella, Smithfield High School RI – Kingston – Malcolm B Meyerson, Rocky Hill School
  • RI – Newport – [**]Timothy J Pratt, Rogers High School
  • RI – Providence – Angela F Crenshaw, Classical High School
  • RI – Providence – Amy L Vogel, Wheeler School
  • RI – Riverside – [**]Nicholas R Guarino, East Providence Senior High School


[**] Double asterisks indicate a Semifinalist for U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.

For more information about the U .S. Presidential Scholars Program, parents and students can call the U.S. Presidential Scholars Office at 507-931-8345, or send an e-mail to PSP@scholarshipamerica.org.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.