ANDOVER — Superintendent John Lavoie is pleased to share that two Greater Lawrence Tech seniors have been nominated as U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.
Andy Morales and Rechelly Paula, both of Lawrence, are two of just five CTE students nominated in the state this year.
“Andy and Rechelly are not only top students, they are leaders inside Greater Lawrence and in the community,” Superintendent Lavoie said. “Their nominations are a wonderful honor, and we are very proud of them.”
Morales and Paula are among 4,500 candidates in the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, and were nominated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to represent Massachusetts as nominees. Each year, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes a maximum of 161 of the country’s most exceptional students. The program was expanded in 2015 to celebrate accomplishments by students studying career and technical education.
The candidates were selected from nearly 3.6 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2021.
Morales, who is in the STEAM program, hopes to pursue a career in engineering to develop innovative solutions to make people’s lives better. He has been accepted into the Engineering programs at Merrimack College, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He is awaiting decisions from other colleges before making his choice.
Morales is working at The Straumann Group through the school’s cooperative program, where he is gaining experience in the field of engineering dental implants, instruments, CAD/CAM prosthetics and biomaterials.
“’Make sure your dreams are bigger than your excuse.’ This is the ethic I live by, giving me the ability to strive in school and allowing me to obtain such an honor,” Morales said.
Paula is studying in the Health Career program and is looking to further her education in the medical field with hope of becoming a physician’s assistant. Paula has work experience in nursing home and hospital settings and has started her cooperative job at ComfortKeepers. She also is a four-sport athlete, competing in Cross Country, Swimming and Diving, Basketball and Softball.
Paula has been accepted to several colleges, including Merrimack College, Fitchburg State University, Bay Path University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and University of Massachusetts Boston.
“It was an amazing feeling and opportunity being nominated for Presidential Scholar because of all my hard work and dedication over the past four years,” Paula said. “Thank you to all who have supported me throughout my journey!”
Semifinalists and 2021 Presidential Scholars will be announced later this school year.