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South Medford High School Student Named Presidential Scholar

picture of brian josephson

South Medford High School Student Named Presidential Scholar

The Medford School District is proud to announce that one of its own students, South Medford High School’s (SMHS) Brian Josephson is a 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholar. Josephson is one of only 161 students nationwide chosen for this honor.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Josephson will be honored in Washington D.C. from June 24-26.

“It’s fantastic,” Josephson said. “It’s nice to have hard work recognized and get this opportunity; it’s really quite an honor.”

Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,200 candidates qualified for the 2018 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, and other partner recognition organizations. In 2015, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields, in which Josephson excels.

Josephson studied business all four years at SMHS and is currently serving as DECA State President. DECA is a marketing and finance club for high school and college students. He plans to attend the University of Oregon and pursue a career in government and policy law.

“I’ve been to DC twice, but I’ve never actually been to the white house, so getting to go and see that, it’s just extraordinary.”

Josephson said the presidential scholars will tour the white house and, schedule permitting, meet the President.

Since 1983, each U.S. Presidential Scholar has been offered the opportunity to name his or her most influential teacher. Each distinguished teacher is honored with a personal letter from the Secretary of Education. Josephson chose Russel Miller of SMHS to receive this honor.

“This high school has been the best experience of my life,” said Josephson. “These four years have made me grow as a person, not just in the academic sense, but in the sense of treating others like they deserve to be treated and really knowing how to work hard to accomplish my goals.”

Josephson was nominated for the award by SMHS Scholarship Coordinator Robyn Kondziela and SMHS TRIO Coordinator Angel Garcia.

“He’s definitely one who stands out and rises above,” said Garcia. “He has done so much service work; he’s so motivated and dedicated to having student voice heard and getting out there and making a difference”