CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — Three Mountain State students accomplished something most students will not in 2023.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recently announced the 59th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, recognizing 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in a variety of educational fields.

The Mountain State Presidential Scholar finalists include:  

  • Lynco: Dalton S. Cook, Westside High School, Clear Fork, West Virginia. 
  • Morgantown: Rania Zuri, Morgantown High School, Morgantown, West Virginia. 
  • Shinnston: Isabella Mackenzie Herrod, Liberty High School, Clarksburg, West Virginia. (**U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education)  

“U.S. Presidential Scholars have always represented the future of our country and the bright promise it holds. I want each of these remarkable students to know: your passion and intellect, pursuit of excellence, and spirit of service are exactly what our country needs. On behalf of President Biden, I am delighted to join your family, friends, and communities in celebrating your accomplishments. Aim high, share your talents, and continue embracing opportunities to lead as your exciting future unfolds,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

Of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,000 candidates qualified for the 2023 awards based on their academic successes. The Presidential Scholars Class of 2023 will also be highlighted for their hard work this summer with an online recognition program.

“I’m incredibly proud of Dalton, Isabella, and Rania for being selected as U.S. Presidential Scholars, and for the difference they are making in their communities. This honor is the culmination of their hard work and dedication throughout high school. Each scholar represents West Virginia’s best, and I’m confident they will make our state proud as they continue to succeed in their future endeavors. This recognition is truly deserved, and I’m certain they will continue to be role models for students across our state,” Senator Capito said.

“The Presidential Scholars recognition is an incredible accomplishment for high school seniors, and Dalton, Isabella and Rania have proven themselves to be excellent representatives of the Mountain State. These students have earned this prestigious award through their dedication and hard work both in their academics and their communities. I congratulate Dalton, Isabella and Rania and their families for their selection as Presidential Scholars and for their remarkable academic and extracurricular achievements. Young people like these three are the future of West Virginia and set a wonderful example for each and every one of us,” said Senator Manchin.

A complete list of 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available at