SHARECOMMENTMORE

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The Richland One school district announced two area high school students have been named candidates for the 2013 Presidential Scholars program.

This national program recognizes and honors some of the most distinguished graduating seniors around the country. Selection is based upon the student's academic accomplishments, artistic success, demonstrated leadership, and participation in their school and community.

This year, A.C. Flora High School Senior Luke Thompson, and Dreher High School Senior Alessandra Tuel are among 560 national semifinalists. The two have been invited to apply for one of the highest honors for high school students in America.

Thompson participates in A.C. Flora's math team, cycling team, a talented drummer, and a National Merit Scholar semifinalist, carrying a 5.057 GPA.

Tuel was named an S. C. Distinguished Finalist in the 2012 Prudential Spirit of the Community awards program. Currently studying an all advanced placement curriculum at Drehr, Tuel also is enrolled in two classes at USC: Japanese, and Mechanical Engineering. And Alessandra, or Alix, is also a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, and scored a perfect 800 on the math portion of her SATs.

Every year as many as 141 students are chosen as Presidential Scholars from all the candidates.