Craftsbury Students Matthew Califano and Alexander Califano Receive Recognition from the Vermont Presidential Scholars Program

We are very excited to announce that Craftsbury Academy student Matthew Califano has been named a 2023 Vermont Presidential Scholar for the Art Category and Alexander Califano, fellow Craftsbury student and brother to Matthew, earned an Arts Honorable Mention.

Matthew and Alexander were recognized at a ceremony on Monday, January 30, at the Vermont State House, joining a field of 18 total recipients.

Commenting after the event, Matthew stated, "I am humbled that the Vermont Department of Education has chosen to recognize my writing with this award, and I am extremely grateful to all of my teachers at Craftsbury Academy and the Dorset Theatre, all of whom have spent a great deal of time helping me hone my craft over the last three years.”

Exhibiting a strong commitment to the arts, Matthew was described by his teacher as having an intense drive to create that has never been seen before in a student of his age. The review committee noted his strong love of the English language and the use of strong visuals in his writing. They were impressed by Matthew’s humble talent in showcasing other young writers.

Matthew and Alexander join an outstanding class of 18 students (15 Scholars and 3 Honorable Mentions) from around Vermont, selected based on nominations from teachers, administrators, and fellow students. Among this year’s scholars are technologists, writers, student leaders, advocates, mentors, and volunteers.

About the Presidential Scholars Program

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of President Johnson, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

Vermont scholars for the General and Career Technical Education categories will be invited to apply to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, which will announce its winners in May 2023. Additional Vermont students are invited to apply by the U.S. Department of Education based on their SAT and/or ACT scores. Each year, up to 161 students are named as national Presidential Scholars – one of the highest honors for high school students.