Secretary DeVos Announces Recipients of the 2017 President’s Education Awards Program

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Secretary DeVos Announces Recipients of the 2017 President’s Education Awards Program

Nearly 3 Million Elementary, Middle and High School Graduates at More Than 30,000 Schools Nationwide Receive This Prestigious Award
July 21, 2017

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today congratulated the 2017 President's Education Awards Program (PEAP) recipients, recognizing nearly 3 million elementary, middle and high school graduates for their educational accomplishments. These students represent more than 30,000 public, private and military schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Outlying Areas – American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands.

"The future of America lies in the strength of our students, so it is a pleasure to recognize and celebrate the academic achievements of our nation's next generation of leaders," said Secretary DeVos. "All of you have proven your commitment to furthering your education, and this award is a testament to your perseverance, long hours of study and passion."

"President Donald Trump and I encourage each of you to not treat education as a path with a definitive end, but one that you will continue for your entire lives. There is always more to learn, study and gain, and I'm confident you will continue to find the rewards education can provide long after you've left the classroom."

PEAP was founded in 1983. Every year since then, the program has provided America's schools with the opportunity to recognize graduating students who meet high standards of academic excellence and those who have given their best effort, often overcoming obstacles to their learning.

Each year, eligible graduating K-12 students are selected by their school principal for recognition in two categories.

The President's Award for Educational Excellence - This award recognizes academic success in the classroom. To be eligible, students must meet requirements, including grade point average or school-set criteria and choice of state tests or teacher recommendations.

The President's Award for Educational Achievement - This award recognizes students that show outstanding educational growth, improvement, commitment or intellectual development in their academic subjects but do not meet the criteria for the Educational Excellence Award. Its purpose is to encourage and reward students who give their best effort, often in the face of special obstacles. Criterion for this award is developed at each school.

Individual recognition is bestowed by the President and the U.S. Secretary of Education, in partnership with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The award includes a congratulatory letter to the student and certificate signed by the President, the Secretary and the school principal.

Unlike other awards programs, the principal has sole discretion in choosing recipients based on eligibility. There is no limit on the number of awards, as long as students meet the criteria for each award set by the school.

A list of 2017 President's Education Awards participating schools by state and territory is available here.