Senior James Acton nominated for prestigious Presidential Scholars Program

Pine Bush High School senior James Acton is one of just three high school seniors in Orange County to be named as a candidate in the 2020 United States Presidential Scholars Program.

A young man, wearing a blue shirt with sunlight and greenery in the background, smiles.


Nomination for the honor is based on the ACT Assessment, the College Board SAT or by a chief state school officer or a partner organization. In James’ case, he received a perfect composite score of 36 on the ACT Assessment, which is the highest overall score. He also got a 36 on every subsection of the test – reading, grammar, math and science – which is what makes it perfect.

“I feel the nomination is recognition for all of the hard work I’ve put into my academic career,” said James. “Ever since I was young, the idea was instilled in me that academic success was vital to financial success as an adult.  To see that I’m on track and on the path to a good college validates all the work that I’ve done, and feels like I’ve just cleared a major hurdle.”

The Commission on Presidential Scholars will name its semi-finalists in mid-April and its Presidential Scholars in May. Those selected Presidential Scholars will receive a trip to the nation’s capital and attend a series of events held in their honor in June. They will also receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House in Washington DC.

James, who is crew chief for the high school musical, tutors other students and holds a part-time job, has not yet decided where he will attend college in the fall but plans to major in chemical engineering.

Congratulations, James, on this prestigious nomination.


Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Tim O. Mains
Superintendent of Schools
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