FARGO-U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has named four North Dakota students to the 54th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars.

Marissa Diggs of Oakes High School, Brianna D. Maddock of Kindred High School, Nidhi Mahale of Davies High School and Isaac Spanjer of Fargo North High School joined 157 other high school seniors from across the country for this honor.

Devos recognized the students for excelling academically, in the arts and in career and technical education fields.

The program was created in 1964 and selects students based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as community service involvement and leadership.

"I want to congratulate this year's class of Presidential Scholars on their achievement and also thank their parents, teachers and other academic advisors who have helped guide them along the way," DeVos said. "These students have pushed themselves to be the best they can be, and I am certain that devotion will serve them well as they continue their individual learning journeys."

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As well as naming the accomplished students, it was announced by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction that four teachers were honored as this year's Presidential Scholar Distinguished Teachers. These educators are Mitchell Becker, an agricultural education teacher at Kindred High School; Michelle Bertsch, a math teacher at Davies High School; Kathie Hay, a music teacher at Oakes High School; and Colin Kloster, a history teacher at North High School.

The ceremony for the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be June 24 in Washington, where the top-performing students will receive a Presidential Scholar medallion.