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Zach Abbott, a Park Forest resident and Rich East High School senior, has been nominated for the prestigious U.S. Presidential Scholars Program award.
Abbott is among six students from across Illinois -- three boys and three girls -- who have been nominated.
The program, established in 1964, by President Lyndon Johnson, recognizes some of America’s most distinguished graduating seniors. Students are nominated by representatives from their schools, with those recommendations then submitted to the state superintendent of schools for review.
Abbott is currently atop the class of 2014 at Rich East High School.
Cumulatively, his grade point average is a weighted 4.4 on a four-point scale. He is also involved in numerous school activities.
Abbott said Rich East principal Mark Kramer asked him to apply for the award. He did so with the help of numerous letters of reference written in support of him by teachers and other staff members at the high school.
Abbott said he was very surprised to learn he had been selected as finalist.
“The honor of simply being recognized and nominated is truly astounding to me.”
Abbott, and the other five finalists from Illinois, will soon be flown to Washington, D.C., for the first of two initial interviews with the national committee.
Kramer said he was extremely happy for Abbott, and added the honor is well-deserved and that he is up and ready for the challenge. “Zach is ready and will represent himself, his family and Rich East very well. This is a tremendous honor for him.”
Abbott hopes to major in computer game development and is currently considering several colleges including DePaul, Bradley and the University of Utah.
Zach’s younger sister, Sarah, is also a stellar student and ranks first in the junior class at Rich East.
The Village of Park Forest congratulates Zach on his outstanding academic accomplishment.