SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities Announces Tenth U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts

Christina Vandiver

Amber Magnuson, a Creative Writing senior at the SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities has been selected to join the 55th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars and is one of only 20 students chosen nationwide as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Magnuson is the Governor's School's tenth student to receive this honor since 2008, nine of which have come from the Creative Writing Department. She will travel to Washington D.C. in June to participate in an original performance at The Kennedy Center.

"This is the highest national student honor for the arts in the United States, and we congratulate Amber for her outstanding achievements and the Creative Writing Department faculty for continuing to cultivate these exceptional students," said Dr. Cedric Adderley, Governor's School president.

Prior to attending the Governor's School, Magnuson was a student at Greenville Senior High Academy and the Fine Arts Center. During her sophomore year, she was a YoungArts finalist and attended National YoungArts Week in Miami, Florida, in 2017.

In the Governor's School's Creative Writing Residential High School Program, led by published, experienced writers who provide daily student mentorship, Magnuson has received numerous accolades. During her senior year, she won first place in Nonfiction in Pfeiffer University's Piedmont Institute of Communication, Art and Music (PICMA) contest and in Ringling College's Storytellers of Tomorrow Contest. She also received a Silver Medal in Nonfiction in the 2019 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition and three Gold Keys, one Silver Key, and two Honorable Mentions in the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Region-at-Large competition. Magnuson was also named a National Merit Finalist. After graduation, she will attend Columbia University in New York.

A press release from the U.S. Department of Education states that the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,200 candidates qualified for the 2019 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation's nationwide YoungArts program.