HCS Student Selected as 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholar
Alison Hu, a senior at Grissom High School has been selected as a member of the 55th Class of U.S. Presidential Scholars for 2019, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students. Hu is one of only 161 high school seniors nationwide, and one of 3 in Alabama, honored for their accomplishments in academics or arts. Alison is one of five high school seniors from the Huntsville City Schools District that were selected as Presidential Scholar Candidates for 2019.
"I was really shocked," Alison said, "the pool of candidates they choose from is just so talented." She went on to say that she was very honored to have the opportunity to recognize Grissom and teachers for all the things they've done for her.
One of Alison’s teachers, Mrs. Suzanne Bailey, who teaches AP Government and Economics, is also being honored as a US Presidential Scholars Distinguished Teacher. Mrs. Bailey said it has been a delight to teach Alison, and calls their time together a highlight of her teaching career. Alison says, "She's really influenced what I want to study in college. Because of her, I want to study applied math and economics."
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects students based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations, transcripts, along with community service, leadership, and commitment to high ideals. The program was first established in 1964, and application is by invitation only.
While a student at Grissom, Alison earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT and was also selected as a 2019 National Merit Finalist and has also won numerous awards as a part of her school’s swim team, including her selection as 2019 Female Athlete of the Year. Hu will travel to Washington, D.C. in June to receive the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House. While in Washington, the 161 Presidential Scholars will attend receptions, visit area museums and monuments, and get to meet important national and international figures.
Alison Hu is the eighth student in the history of Grissom High to be selected as a Presidential Scholar Finalist. In 2015, Grissom’s James Brahm was honored as a finalist for the award. Cindy Rodgers, a Grissom alum who teaches Honors Algebra II Trig, AP BC Calculus, and Math Seminar I, II, and III at the school, received a Presidential Scholar Finalist award in 1986.