A Southeast Kansas high school student is one of only five from the Sunflower State to advance as a potential “presidential scholar” for career and technical education.
Girard senior Jessica Brynds should find out any day now if she’s advanced to the semi-final round for the Presidential Scholars program. She’s was nominated by a teacher at her school, which was a big honor. But as time went on, the surprises and honors just kept coming.
“It really was kind of a surprise, because I wasn’t aware this program was in place,” says Jessica Brynds.
But Girard High School senior Jessica Brynds wasn’t done being surprised just yet.
“Whenever I got the letter saying that I had been nominated at the state level, I was just totally shocked and really thankful and grateful that I was chosen to compete at the national level,” says Brynds.
She’s now one of five Kansas high school seniors in the running to be named a presidential scholar in the career and technical education field. The Presidential Scholars program was established in 1964, and honors distinguished high school seniors in several fields, including the arts and career and technical education.
Brynds says being nominated was an honor, but it was made even more special because of the field she was chosen to represent.
“I’m really happy for the career and technical education part, because that’s played a really big role in my high school career as some of those classes I’ve learned the most from, so I’m really excited it gets to be in the career and technical education portion of that,” says Brynds.
During her time at Girard High School, she’s been part of both the FFA and FCCLA, and even gotten her hands dirty.
“I have previously taken construction classes, which is obviously career and technical education,” says Brynd.
All of which played a part in getting her this far in the process. But perhaps more importantly, it’s given her a direction to head in after high school.
“I will be attending Pittsburg State University to major in construction management, because the career and technical education has played a part in something that I want to do after high school,” says Brynd.
Brynds should learn in the next few weeks if she’s made it to the semi-finalists round for the Presidential Scholars program. Until then, she says she just hopes her experience sends a positive message to other students about how hard work can help you reach great heights.