Two Rhode Island Students Named 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars

Published on Thursday, May 09, 2024

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 Thursday as U.S. Presidential Scholars.  

U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona today announced the 60th 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: 

  • RI – Ryan Steven Lukowicz, North Kingstown Senior High School, North Kingstown, Rhode Island. 
  • RI – Margaret Catherine Lauder, Portsmouth High School, Portsmouth, Rhode Island. 

“Ryan and Margaret have demonstrated remarkable academic prowess and leadership throughout their educational careers,” said Governor Dan McKee. “This prestigious designation is well-deserved and a testament to their hard work and the support of Rhode Island educators. I share my sincere congratulations with Ryan and Margaret and wish them the best in their bright futures.” 

“Ryan and Margaret’s leadership and service have set a standard for their peers to follow,” said Commissioner Infante-Green. “Having both served on RIDE’s Student Advisory Council, these U.S. Presidential Scholars have demonstrated a deep commitment to not only their academic success, but enhancing the educational experience for all Rhode Island students. As Ryan and Margaret continue to shine brightly on their path forward, we are proud to celebrate their accomplishments and the collective efforts that have propelled them to such heights. Congratulations!” 

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. 

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 or through nominations made by chief state school officers, other partner recognition organizations and YoungArts, the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists. 

“The North Kingstown School Department is extremely proud of the national recognition Ryan has earned for his exemplary commitment to his studies and community,” said North Kingstown Superintendent Dr. Ken Duva. “We extend our congratulations to Ryan and his family on this honor and wish him continued success. Ryan has demonstrated a strong commitment to making a difference for many individuals in our community and state. His leadership and advocacy are remarkable. We know that he will continue to be a leader in our community.” 

“I join students, teachers and administrators in congratulating Margaret on her selection as a Presidential Scholar,” said Portsmouth Superintendent Dr. Thomas Kenworthy. “Through her strong commitment to academic excellence and community service, Margaret exemplifies the best of our school community. We look forward to seeing her continue to continue to excel in her studies and as a leader.” 

As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of two students from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education. 

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 8,200 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. 2024 is the program’s 60th anniversary. 

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

A complete list of 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available at