Asheville High School senior named to the 50th class of US Presidential Scholars

Press release from Asheville High School:

Liana Murray named to the 50th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars

Asheville High School senior and soon-to-be graduate, Liana Murray  has been selected for the 50th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars as announced recently by  U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.   Liana and 140 other high school seniors were recognized for their accomplishments in academics or the arts.  These scholars were chosen from a cadre of 3,900 candidates from an expected three million graduates nationwide. Liana qualified via the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ competition.


Take a look at Liana’s amazing art work!  Her visual arts teacher at Asheville High, Kristina Shriver, describes her this way: “Her work, creativity and just overall awesomeness is taking her to places that many just dream about!”

Liana was named a 2014 YoungArts finalist late last year and was flown to Miami in January for Young Arts, where she studied and celebrated with celebrities….Tony award winner, Bill T. Jones was the host.  Liana submitted 10 pieces  from her AP art portfolio for the event.

Liana is the daughter of Tamiko Ambrose-Murray and Scott Murray and is a member of the National Honor Society.  She has participated in the Asheville High Student Government Association for the past two years as Junior Class VP and Student Body President this year. She has played a key role in the organization of the Asheville Prison Books Program. She is first and foremost an artist who fondly recalls her tenure as a resident artist in the Little Black Pearl High School in Chicago. She also remembers, with a smile, how her ninth grade cross country team honored her with the esteemed award of “Best Hair in Motion.”

Liana plans to enter Yale University this fall with a double major in sociology and visual arts.

Interviews and inspirations about Liana:

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by President Obama, selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 6,500 of the nation’s top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual ceremony in D.C. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts

The 2014 ceremony will be held June 22, when each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion.

A complete list of 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars follows and is available at


About Lea McLellan
Lea McLellan is a freelance writer who likes to write stories about music, art, food, wellness and interesting locals doing interesting things.

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