Two Rhode Island Students Named 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars 

Published on Wednesday, May 10, 2023

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Dan McKee, Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, and the Rhode Island Department of Education extend their congratulations to the two Rhode Island high school seniors announced Wednesday as U.S. Presidential Scholars. 

U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona on Wednesday announced the 59th class, made up of 161 high school seniors recognized for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields. 

The Rhode Island scholars include: 

  • Cayetano Sanchez IV, East Greenwich High School 

  • Julia I. Martins, the Greene School 

“Year after year, Rhode Island students continue to achieve greatness. My administration could not be prouder of Cayetano and Julia, who set the bar high not only as students but as Rhode Islanders,” said Governor Dan McKee. “This prestigious recognition speaks to our students’ commitment to learning and the tremendous support their school communities offer. I share my sincere congratulations with Cayetano and Julia and wish them the best in their bright futures.” 

“We could not be more excited for Cayetano and Julia, who are well-deserving of this distinguished national recognition,” said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. “Last summer, Cayetano served as an intern with the Lt. Governor’s Office, where his leadership and attention to detail shined as he researched various policy initiatives, such as affordable housing and veterans’ programs. We are deeply appreciative of Cayetano’s contributions and are thrilled to see him receive this high honor. Congratulations to both students who are already making an impact on the Ocean State.”  

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. 

“Julia and Cayetano are shining examples of educational excellence, and we are so proud to have them thriving academically and serving as positive role models in our Rhode Island schools,” said Chair of the Council of Elementary and Secondary Education Patti DiCenso. “On behalf of the Council, I send my sincere congratulations to these students, their families, and school communities across Rhode Island.” 

“As members of the class of 2023, Julia and Cayetano were just months into their high school careers when the COVID-19 pandemic upended education and life as we knew it. To see these students thriving and receiving such distinguished national recognition despite the challenges is simply incredible,” said Commissioner Infante-Green. “Thank you, Julia and Cayetano, for your unwavering commitment, leadership, and drive. We wish you the absolute best in this next chapter of your lives.” 

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. 

"East Greenwich Public Schools is very proud to recognize U.S. Presidential Scholar Cayetano Sanchez,” said East Greenwich Superintendent Dr. Brian G. Ricca. “This honor demonstrates Cayetano’s commitment to excellence in academics and being a leader not only in the EGHS community, but in Rhode Island as well. Cayetano serves as senior class president, among other leadership roles, and represents East Greenwich on the statewide Student Advisory Council. Thank you, Cayetano, for inspiring your peers and being the embodiment of our vision of a graduate. We can’t wait to see what else you accomplish as a proud Avenger!” 

"We could not be more thrilled for Julia. Something that defines Julia as a student is her level of curiosity and eagerness to expand her own insight," said the Greene School Head of School Joshua Laplante. "She has been an exemplary member of the Greene School community and we are incredibly proud of her.  As a  leader across our statewide community, she models the Greene School mission of engaged citizenship.

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2023 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program. 

A complete list of 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available at



Contact: Victor Morente

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