By Gabrielle Gasser ASSOCIATE EDITOR
BIG SKY – Out of more than 5,000 candidates, Lone Peak High School senior John Chadwell was selected on May 12 to join an elite group of students as a 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar.
Chadwell is one of 161 high school seniors chosen this year and one of three scholars from Montana. Brooke Janyne Bothner of Bozeman High School and Ashton Reed Blake of Charles M. Russell High School in Great Falls were also named to the prestigious group.
Scholars are selected based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals, according to a U.S. Department of Education press release.
“I am truly grateful for the scholarship and its acknowledgement of my scholastic endeavors,” Chadwell said. “Further, I am also grateful to all those who have helped me along the way. For God, my parents, teachers, my friends, community members, and many more, I am grateful.”
Chadwell’s busy career as a student at LPHS saw him attend American Legion Boys State and Nation, participate in the mock trial team, act in school musicals and play on the varsity basketball team, among other activities.
Every scholar is asked to name their most influential teacher and each teacher is honored with a personal letter from the Secretary of Education. Chadwell named Tony Coppola, MS/HS Social Studies Teacher, as his most influential teacher.
“I’m extremely humbled and it’s an honor,” Coppola said of Chadwell’s nomination, describing the 18-year-old as a hardworking student who was genuinely interested in coursework and “very intellectually curious.”
Coppola added that Chadwell is deserving of the honor and pointed to his standout academic performance, community service and involvement in extracurricular activities as further qualifications.
“He’s going to be on a path for great things,” Coppola said. “It’ll be cool to see what he does with his academics outside of high school moving into that university level.”
Chadwell plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall and study political science.