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Dobyns-Bennett Student Advances to National Level of Presidential Scholarship Program

Published February 17, 2017 at 10:09 a.m.

KINGSPORT, Tenn.Dobyns-Bennett High School senior Chandler Woods has been named one of 4,000 candidates in the 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, competing with top high school students nominated across the country. Chandler is the son of Jon and Melissa Woods.

“The Presidential Scholars Award is one of the most distinguished awards a high school student can earn,” said Dr. Chris Hampton, principal, Dobyns-Bennett High School. “This recognition is most deserving, as Chandler has invested countless hours of hard work and has a relentless commitment toward his personal and academic goals. He has served as a model student and I have no doubt he will represent our school, district and the City of Kingsport admirably through this recognition.”

Established in 1964 by executive order of the President, the program recognizes and honors the nation's most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in academic success, leadership and service to school and community. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrated exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was expanded once again to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical fields. Annually, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.

Application is by invitation only. Students are invited to apply based on their scores on the SAT or ACT exam or their nomination by a Chief State School Officer, the year of their graduation from high school, and whether they are U.S. Citizens or Legal Permanent U.S. Residents. Students who qualify will automatically receive applications. Applicants are narrowed to 560 semifinalists and then ultimately determined to be a recipient or not.  Important milestones for remaining steps of the selection process include nominees completing the national Presidential Scholars application (February), semi-finalists being announced (April), and national winners being announced (May). 

Students chosen as U.S. Presidential Scholars receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. in June for National Recognition Weekend featuring various events, enrichment activities and culminating in the presentation of the Presidential Scholars Medallion during a White House sponsored ceremony. During their visit, Scholars have access to important national and international figures, including government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other accomplished people.

For more information about the Presidential Scholars program, please contact the Dobyns-Bennett High School Counseling Office at (423) 378.8409 or

Kingsport City Schools (KCS) is a public school district located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, a high school program of choice and an alternative learning program; with total enrollment over 7,500 students. The vision of Kingsport City Schools is to be, Student Focused … World Class.

KCS has been named the top school district in Tennessee as winner of the 2014 SCORE Prize District Award by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) and has earned the 2014 Achievement Award in the annual Excellence in Tennessee Recognition Program by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE).

For more information on KCS, visit, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FM, The Voice of KCS, read our blog, We Are KCS, or call (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (Kingsport City Schools), Twitter (@KCS_District) and check out our YouTube Channel (KPTSchools).