LITTLE ROCK - U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that Ashley Turner, a Maumelle High School student, is one of 161 high school seniors to be named a U.S. Presidential Scholar. This honor recognizes Turner’s accomplishments in career and technical education (CTE). The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects students every year based on their academic achievements, essay submissions, school evaluations, transcripts, and community service.
“I feel very blessed and very thankful for the opportunity. I am just thankful for career and technical education here in Arkansas, and I’m very honored to represent our state,” Turner said.
Two other Arkansas high school seniors have been named U.S. Presidential Scholars: Anika Mittal, a student at KIPP Blytheville Collegiate High School, and Jon Boekhout, a student at Hot Springs World Class High School. Turner is the only one of the three saluted for work in CTE.
The trio will travel to Washington, D.C., in June, will meet Secretary DeVos, and will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion during a ceremony.
Turner serves as National Vice President of Public Relations for Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). She said being a part of the organization has developed her into a bonafide leader.
“The organization gets students ready not only for their roles in the future, but for their roles right now as we prepare them to be leaders in their communities, in their school, state, and nation,” Turner said.
Marna Farris, Arkansas’s State FCCLA Advisor, nominated Turner for this honor.
“Ashley is a shining example of what Career Technical Education (CTE) is all about and will not hesitate to tell you that she would not be the person she has become without her experiences through Career and Technical Education. It has been a pleasure working with her through her CTE experiences,” Farris said.
Turner will be attending Regent University, located in Virginia, to major in Political Communication. After graduating college, she plans to be a political consultant for campaigns or enroll into law school and work in the criminal justice system.
One thing about which she is sure: She wants to return to Arkansas to be the first female governor of Arkansas!
(Photo: Ashley Turner (fourth from left) is one of 161 high school seniors to be named a U.S. Presidential Scholar. She is pictured with (l-r) Kathy Turner, Deputy Director of Career and Technical Education; Charisse Childers, Ph.D., Director of Arkansas Department of Career Education; Governor Asa Hutchinson; Laura Turner, her mother; and Marna Farris, Program Coordinator for Family and Consumer Sciences)