CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Kubasaki High School senior Lauren Girard didn’t make the final round of the Presidential Scholar Program.

But, she said, “I was really surprised ... and honored ... when I made semifinalist.”

Three Department of Defense Dependent Schools students worldwide were among the 500 semifinalists in the prestigious scholastic recognition program.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Education invites some 2,600 graduating American seniors, who scored in the highest percentiles on the American College Test or Scholastic Aptitude Test, to apply for the presidential award.

Students are selected based both on academic achievements and extracurricular activities. They also must write essays, get teacher referrals and provide transcripts of their grades.

Lauren, 17, said she graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average and ranked in the 98th percentile on the ACT, scoring a 33 out of a possible 36. She earned an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.

The Education Department recently announced this year’s 137 finalists, including Amelia Lohrenz of DODDS’ Bamberg High School in Germany.

Brendan Corcoran from SHAPE American High School in Belgium was DODDS’ other semifinalist.

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