Eight high school seniors from New Jersey have been named to the 51st class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, an elite academic honor extended to just 141 senior nationwide.

The 2015 scholars were selected by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by President Barack Obama. They will be awarded a Presidential Scholar Medallion at a June 21 ceremony.

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According to the U.S. Department of Education, The selection criteria included academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, community service and leadership. Those selected topped an eligible field of more than 4,300 candidates, who qualified for consideration through outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers or the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ competition.

The New Jersey students selected, and the "most influential" teachers they designated are:

  • Shravan  Balaji, East Brunswick High School (Most influential teacher: Alan Brodman)
  • Anagha  Prasanna, Academy for Allied Health Sciences, Scotch Plains ( Most influential teacher: Suba Parmar)
  • Christina Qui, Livingston High School (Most influential teacher: Susan Rothbard)
  • Oriana  Tang, Livingston High School (Most influential teacher: Jaimee Mirsky)
  • Sydney J. Lee of Oakland, NJ, Keystone National High School, Bloomington, PA. (Most influential teacher: Sophie Shao)
  • Victoria  Gebert, Princeton High School (Most influential teacher: Arthur Seidenberg)
  • Sabrina R. Casavechia, Ramsey High School (Most influential teacher: Christopher Frangione)
  • Jorge A. Ledesma, Westfield High School (Most influential teacher: Valentino Scipioni)

“These scholars are poised to make their mark on our nation in every field imaginable: the arts and humanities, science and technology, law and medicine, business and finance, education and government," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, in his announcement of the names this week. "Their academic and artistic achievements reflect a sense of purpose that we should seek to instill in all students to prepare them for college, careers, civic responsibilities, and the challenges of today’s job market.”

A complete list of 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars follows and is available at here.