Superintendent John Lavoie
57 River Rd, Andover,
For Immediate Release
Monday, May 8, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Greater Lawrence Technical School Student Named U.S. Presidential Scholar
ANDOVER– Superintendent John Lavoie is pleased to announce that Greater Lawrence Technical School senior Alkenly Ortiz has been named one of four Massachusetts U.S. Presidential Scholars — and the only student in the state to earn the recognition in the Career and Technical Education category.
Established in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes and honors a select number of graduating high school seniors every year for their accomplishments. Originally centered around general academic distinction, the program evolved two years ago to incorporate 20 scholars who succeed in the visual, creative and performing arts as well as 20 students who excel in career and technical education. This is the first time GLTS has nominated a student for the award.
“We’re incredibly proud and excited for Alkenly, and to have our first nominee earn this level of recognition is outstanding,” Superintendent Lavoie said. “We know that great things are in store for Alkenly no matter what path he pursues after graduation.”
This year, from nearly 3.5 million graduating high school seniors in the country, Ortiz was one of approximately 5,100 students identified as a candidate following a nomination process. In April, he became one of 723 semifinalists nationwide, and one of five in Massachusetts in the Career and Technical Education category.
Throughout the nation, 161 students earned the U.S. Presidential Scholars award. Ortiz, of Lawrence, learned on May 4 that he is one of the 20 Career and Technical Education Presidential Scholars. All winners will be honored during the Presidential Scholars Program’s National Recognition Program of events on June 18-20 in Washington, D.C.
Ortiz, who is a native of the Dominican Republic, is completing his final year of the carpentry program at GLTS and plans to pursue a career in architecture. In the essay portion of his application for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, Ortiz wrote about his desire to help solve homelessness after seeing the devastating effects of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which was only approximately 100 miles from his home in the Dominican Republic.
“That earthquake experience made me realize that I wanted to help out in world crisis issues with something that I have a passion for,” Ortiz wrote. “Homelessness continues to be a struggle for every generation, but I believe we can take the steps necessary to solve it.”
In addition to being named a U.S. Presidential Scholar, Ortiz has excelled in academics and athletics throughout his high school career. He is a class officer and successful triathlete, playing on the golf team and serving as the swim and tennis captain. Ortiz participated in the 29th annual Worcester Polytechnic Institute Invitational Math Meet in 2016, is a member of the National Honor Society and serves on the yearbook committee.