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PHS Senior Name Presidential Scholar

Princeton, NJ – Princeton High School senior Winona Guo has been named a 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholar. The Presidential Scholars program recognizes and honors the nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors . Scholars are selected based on their academic success as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated committement to high ideals.

“Winona has a fierce commitment to social justice,” said Princeton Public Schools Superintendent Steve Cochrane. “She also exudes eagerness and gratitude. She listens; she laughs; and, through the inspirational force of her personality, she leads.”

Winona is one of the founders of an orga nization called Princeton Choose. Following the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, Winona and her classmate Priya Vulchi were struck by the absence of conversation about race in their school and in their community. They decided to start that conversation. Their plan was simple: record the real stories of classmates and community members – stories of race and diversity, stories of inspiration and hardship. They organized a group of writers and videographers and those stories quickly began appearing on their website. That website has now evolved into a book published by Princeton University Press, which teachers can use to find entry points into conversations with their students about race, religion, and gender.

Winona has been accepted into Harvard University and plans to matriculate for the 2018 - 19 school year after taking a gap year to further the work she has done to promote racial literacy through Princeton CHOOSE.

“Winona is one of the hardest working and driven students I've ever had. But what's more remarkable about Winona is that she's driven by a moral compass that's always steering her in the direction of improving the world around her,” said PHS Social Studies teacher, Tim Campbell.  “One way or another, I know Winona will continue changing the world.

Along with Winona’s recognition, Mr. Campbell was named a 2017 Distinguished Teacher by the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

"Tim is one of the outstanding teachers at Princeton High School as he challenges his students to move beyond a surface - level approach to history towards a more comprehensive and sophisticated understanding of historical themes and causation and the very real and important ways in which the past shapes our present,” said Mark Shelley, the Supervisor of Social Studies at PHS. “ He pushes his students to think critically and divergently and to consider their role as global citizens who seek to be informed and empathetic."

Princeton Public Schools wishes the warmest congratulations to Winona and Tim on this worthy recognition !

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