KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Ketchikan High School senior Evelyn Nutt recently was selected as one of 625 semifinalists in the national Presidential Scholars program.

Nutt was selected as a semifinalist from a pool of 6,500 initial candidates from across the country, according to a press release from the program, which was first started in 1964 under an executive order from then-president Lyndon B. Johnson.

 "Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars program, now in its 57th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors," according the release. "Scholars are selected on the basis of their accomplishments in many areas — academic and artistic success, accomplishment in career and technical fields, leadership, strong character and involvement in school and the community."

 The program expanded in 2015 to not only recognize students for academic success, but also achievement in the arts or technical career fields.

 Up to 161 graduating seniors are chosen as presidential scholars each year, according to the release. The 2021 cohort of Presidents Scholars will be announced later this month, and will receive recognition from President Joe Biden, along with a medallion, for their accomplishments.

Nutt told the Daily News on Monday that she applied for the program two months ago.

"I was nominated to the program through the ACT organization because I got a 34 composite score on my ACT, and it's known as a high national score," Nutt said. "So after my nomination I talked to Mr. McClory (Kayhi junior/senior counselor) and he helped me fill out my application."

Nutt said she had forgotten about her application while waiting, and wasn't expecting to be nominated as a semifinalist.

 "When I got the letter in the mail, it felt extremely official that I was a semifinalist and it was really great to be recognized by the Department of Education for this award," Nutt said.

 Nutt is waiting to learn if she will be named as a finalist.

 "I have to wait until the chair at the White House decides who the finalists are going to be, and what the steps are from there," she said.