Greater Lawrence Tech Senior Ashlin Reyes Named Presidential Scholar Nominee


GLTS senior Ashlin Reyes is one of five Massachusetts students chosen as a nominee for the Career and Technical Education component. (Courtesy Photo GLTS)

GLTS senior Ashlin Reyes is one of five Massachusetts students chosen as a nominee for the Career and Technical Education component. (Courtesy Photo GLTS)

LAWRENCE — Superintendent John Lavoie is pleased to announce that Greater Lawrence Tech senior Ashlin Reyes is one of five students from Massachusetts chosen as a nominee for the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program.

Established in 1964 by an executive order of President Lyndon Johnson, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.

In 2015, the program expanded to include students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

Each year, CTE schools nominate up to five candidates for consideration, who are evaluated on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and essay submission.

“To be one of five students in the state to be nominated is such a pleasing accomplishment,” Reyes said.

“To even be considered by GLTS for this honor makes me proud of my school, my teachers and my hard work.” In October, guidance counselor Colleen Abdulla nominated Reyes, a cosmetology student from Lawrence, citing her exceptional academic skills — she is second in her class — her infectious school spirit, kind personality and extraordinary leadership skills.

On top of that, Reyes had perfect attendance her freshman and sophomore year of high school, and would have junior year had she not been stranded with her family in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

Reyes describes the two weeks she was in her family’s country of origin as life changing, as she was without electricity, cell phone service and had limited water and food.

During her freshman year, Reyes, often shy and afraid to step out of her comfort zone, took her fears head on by becoming a member of the track team. Since that initial leap, she has joined the soccer team, become a Reggie leader, freshman mentor, a member of the Gay Straight Alliance club, a participant in SkillsUSA and has taken advantage of connecting with local businesses through the Family Service of Merrimack Valley’s program Stand and Deliver.

“Ashlin is hardworking and compassionate, and would do nothing less than add positive energy wherever she goes,” Abdulla wrote. In March, 60 CTE semifinalists will be chosen by an independent, national committee of educators convened by the Commission on Presidential Scholars. Then, in April, the Commission on Presidential Scholars selects up to 20 CTE Presidential Scholars.

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is an author, host of the Paying Attention TV/Radio Program, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor. You can email your comments to

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