Stephen Azar Named National Semifinalist in 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars Competition

BILOXI, Miss. – Senior Stephen Azar has been selected as one of 621 semifinalists to advance to the final round of the 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars competition. From the 3.6 million seniors in high schools across the country, 5,200 were identified as potential candidates, and from these candidates the 621 semifinalists were chosen from across the country.

Students that have been selected as candidates have an opportunity to be become one of the 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars.  The scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people.

The application process is a distinguished honor and by invitation only.  Only students that have been selected as a candidate in each state received this invitation. A national review committee of qualified individuals experienced in secondary and post-secondary education evaluates candidates on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and the quality and content of their essay. The final scholars list will be announced in May. Scholars will be invited to Washington, DC, for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities.

“On behalf of the St. Patrick Catholic High School administration, faculty, and staff, I am incredibly proud of Stephen Azar on his recent selection as a U.S. Presidential Scholar. His devotion to academic achievement, leadership, citizenship, service, and his contributions to St. Patrick are highly evident throughout our school community, and we are grateful for his representation of our school on a national level.” said Principal Dr. Matt Buckley.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by Executive Order of the then President, Lyndon B. Johnson, to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.  In 1979, the Program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts.   In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.


St. Patrick Catholic High School is a faith-based, college preparatory high school in Biloxi, Mississippi. Established in 2007, St. Patrick is the premier secondary educational institution in South Mississippi and strives each day to Educate Scholars, Train Disciples, and Support Champions. St. Patrick is proud to report a 100% college matriculation rate, ACT and SAT scores that far exceed the state and national averages, and a rich history of Catholic education founded in the traditional roots of our legacy schools of St. John High School, Mercy Cross High School, Notre Dame High School, and Sacred Heart Academy.