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Two NM students named 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars

Mireya Cosima Sanchez-Maes

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two New Mexico students have made the 56th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, which is honoring 161 high school seniors across the country for their accomplishments.

They are Mireya Cosima Sanchez-Maes of Mayfield High School in Las Cruces and Zachary J. Auster of Albuquerque Academy.

“It is my privilege to congratulate the Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 on their outstanding academic achievement, community service, and leadership,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a statement.

Zachary J. Auster

“These exemplary young people have excelled inside the classroom and out,” she said. “And, while they are facing unprecedented challenges as they graduate from high school into a world that looks much different than it did just a few months ago, their determination, resilience, and commitment to excellence will serve them well as they pursue their next steps.”

A White House commission selects the students annually based on academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service and leadership, organizers said in a news release.

More than 5,300 candidates were ruled eligible for this year’s program, established in 1964.

bright spotTwo are chosen from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 are chosen at-large, plus 20 in the artsĀ and 20 more in career and technical education, according to a news release.

The 2020 class will be recognized for their outstanding achievements this summer, as public health circumstances permit, organizers said.

A complete list is available at

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