Lauren Clai Elizabeth Morehead, a graduating senior at Ridgway Christian School at Pine Bluff, has been named one of more than 3,000 candidates in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Lauren Clai Elizabeth Morehead, a graduating senior at Ridgway Christian School at Pine Bluff, has been named one of more than 3,000 candidates in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

The daughter of David and Kaleybra Morehead, she has also been named a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship and National Achievement Scholarship.

Morehead also was recognized as a junior for earning the top composite score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam.

In December, she was also presented with the Honors Scholarship from Arkansas State University.

For the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, Morehead was selected from nearly 3.2 million students graduating in 2012.

Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

Three thousand candidates were selected for their exceptional performance on the College Board SAT or the ACT Assessment. In addition, each Chief State School Officer was invited to nominate one male and one female candidate. Further consideration is based on studentsí essays, self-assessments, descriptions of activities, school recommendations, and school transcripts. A panel of educators will review these submissions and select 500 semifinalists in early April.

The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of citizens appointed by the President, will select one young man and one young woman from each state. The U.S. Department of Education will announce the scholars in May.

Scholars will be invited to Washington, D.C., in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony.