May 27, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia students Kayli Madison Mann of Pikeview High School, and William Ryan Tobin of Fairmont Senior High School, were selected as the state’s 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars from among a pool of extremely qualified candidates. Though this honor typically includes a trip to Washington D.C., this year the Scholars will be awarded the Presidential Scholars Medallion, sponsored by the White House, and honored for their accomplishments through an online recognition program to ensure the health and safety of the award recipients.

Kayli Mann is a graduating senior from Pikeview High School in Lerona, W.Va. As Pikeview’s class of 2020 Valedictorian, Mann has an exceptional record of academic achievement. She is an Advanced Placement® (AP) Scholar, having earned outstanding college-level achievement through her performance on multiple AP exams including AP Biology; AP English Language and Composition; and AP U.S. History. She has also been a multiple-time Poetry Out Loud school champion and a state competitor in Math Field Day. Mann is active in her community and church, and held leadership positions in extracurricular activities, including community theater and band. This fall, she will attend The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School to study Marketing and Communications as a Joseph Wharton Scholar.

William Tobin is a graduating senior from Fairmont Senior High School in Fairmont, W.Va. Tobin brings the same passion to his extracurricular activities as he does to academics. In addition to his high school coursework, William has taken advanced math classes at Fairmont State University and served as vice president and captain of Fairmont Senior’s math team. Outside the classroom, Tobin has been a leader in the West Virginia Association of Student Councils, the Fairmont Senior High School Chess Team, Marion County Mechanical and Engineering Team and the National Honor Society. He was also named to the Marion County All County Soccer Team and served as captain of Fairmont Senior’s tennis team. Tobin will be attending Washington and Lee University as a Johnson Scholar with a major in a Computer Science and Business.

“I’ve said many times that the greatest treasure we have in West Virginia is our kids and when you see all of the greatness that Kayli and William have achieved in just the past few years, it’s truly incredible,” Governor Jim Justice said. “They’re absolute champions, both inside and outside of the classroom, and that’s why they’ve been selected as among the best of the best students in the entire country. Their futures could not be brighter, and we could not be prouder to have them representing West Virginia.”

“Kayli and William are exceptional students whose accomplishments academically and within their communities should be celebrated,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “The U.S. Presidential Scholar Award is the nation’s highest honor for high school students, and I have no doubt that it is just the start to an incredible academic career for both of Kayli and William.”

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established to recognize and honor some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. The program has been extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts, as well as students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

Students have the opportunity to become U.S. Presidential Scholars based on having scored exceptionally well on the SAT or the ACT. Students may also be nominated by their chief state school officer based on their outstanding scholarship. Application is by invitation only, and candidates are required to complete and submit candidacy materials for review, including essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports and transcripts. A review committee of qualified individuals experienced in secondary and post-secondary education evaluates candidates on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and the quality and content of their essay.

In addition to the national virtual recognition ceremony, the scholars will be recognized and honored by the West Virginia Board of Education at an upcoming meeting.

For general information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, and a full list of award recipients, please visit