← View All Articles

Submitted material

Governor’s School announces 10th U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts

Amber Magnuson among just 20 nationwide


Amber Magnuson, a creative writing senior at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, was selected to join the 55th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars and is one of only 20 students chosen nationwide as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.  Amber Magnuson headshotMagnuson is the Governor's School's 10th student to receive this honor since 2008, nine of which have come from the creative writing department. She will travel to Washington in June to participate in an original performance at The Kennedy Center. "This is the highest national student honor for the arts in the United States, and we congratulate Amber for her outstanding achievements and the Creative Writing Department faculty for continuing to cultivate these exceptional students," said Governor's School President Dr. Cedric Adderley. Prior to attending the Governor's School, Magnuson was a student at Greenville Senior High Academy and the Fine Arts Center. During her sophomore year, she was a YoungArts finalist and attended National YoungArts Week in Miami, Florida in 2017. In the Governor's School's Creative Writing Residential High School Program, led by published, experienced writers who provide daily student mentorship, Magnuson has received numerous accolades. During her senior year, she won first place in Nonfiction in Pfeiffer University's Piedmont Institute of Communication, Art and Music (PICMA) contest and in Ringling College's Storytellers of Tomorrow Contest. She also received a Silver Medal in Nonfiction in the 2019 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition and three Gold Keys, one Silver Key, and two Honorable Mentions in the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Region-at-Large competition. Magnuson was also named a National Merit Finalist. After graduation, she will attend Columbia University in New York City. A press release from the U.S. Department of Education states that the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually 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. Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,200 candidates qualified for the 2019 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation's nationwide YoungArts program.
For more information about the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities and their creative writing programs, visit www.scgsah.org.

Governor’s School creative writing students continue to excel

From the Greenville News: Student writer adds to Governor's School storied winning streak, takes $10,000 prize

For the fifth year in a row, a South Carolina student has seen her name go from the first line of a school essay to the top of an acceptance letter from the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and then to a truly remarkable place — the “pay to the order of” line of a $10,000 check. Jackson TriceSeventeen-year-old Jackson Trice is the latest in a years-long run of Governor’s School creative writers who have taken home one of the most prestigious and coveted awards for young authors — the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards gold medal for writing portfolio. Eight such medals were awarded this year. In past years, that number was seven. From a creative writing department of fewer than 30 students, the tiny residential school tucked on a hillside overlooking Falls Park has had at least one top winner every year since 2010 and a total of 10 winners over the last nine years. Read the complete article.
  From SCNow.com (Florence Morning News): Florence student receives prestigious creative writing award nomination
A local student has been nominated for the country’s most prestigious art award for artistically gifted high school students. Shelly HucksFlorence resident Shelly Hucks, a senior at South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) in Greenville, has been nominated in the area of creative writing and said she is “very grateful and honored to be chosen” as a candidate for the Presidential Scholar in the Arts honor. “It means that everything that I have been working for has really been paying off,” Hucks said. “Being named a candidate for this honor has given me the confidence to pursue creative writing as a career option.” Winners of the Presidential Scholar in the Arts honor will be announced in May. Read the complete article.