Banks teen a candidate for Presidential Scholar

Published 3:00 am Saturday, March 12, 2016


You might know Madelyn Montgomery as the designer behind the local Frilly Fox jewelry collection, but she’s also on the path to becoming a presidential scholar.

The Banks resident has been selected as a candidate for the prestigious 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars program.

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The program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

Montgomery, who has been homeschooled since fourth grade, has both exceptional academic records and an impressive 35 score on the ACT college test.

“That required a lot of studying,” she said with a laugh.

Montgomery is no stranger to studying and hard work. Her passion for art and design led her to start her own jewelry design business two years ago.

“I’ve always made jewelry for my mom, even when I was little, and she always appreciated that,” Montgomery said. “I saw the opportunity to share it with other people … and being at Confetti Crate is so much fun.”

She plans to continue to pursue art through the graphic design program at Jacksonville State University, where she has received a full scholarship.

She plans to pursue a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design and a minor in fashion merchandising.

“I’m taking some CLEP tests right now because I’m going to be studying for a BFA in graphic design and it doesn’t usually have time for a minor,” Montgomery said. “Hopefully, with these CLEP tests, I’ll have time to get my minor.”

As for career aspirations, Montgomery says she’s waiting to see where graphic design may lead.  And, she’s savoring her final months as a high school senior.

Montgomery is the daughter of Clint and Kelli Montgomery. She is the granddaughter of Sue and Rickey Culpepper, Kenneth and Terri Hutto and Elaine Hutto, all of Banks, and Linda Montgomery of Union Springs.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars program was established in 1964 to recognize some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors. Originally created to recognize academic success, leadership and service to school and community, the program has been expanded twice to include exceptional scholarship and talent in the creative, visual and performing arts and in the career and technical fields. Annually, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from each year’s graduating seniors. All scholars are invited to Washington, D.C. in June for the National Recognition Program and the presentation of the Presidential Scholars Medalling during a White House ceremony.

The candidates will be narrowed to 800 semifinalists in early April and finalists will be selected in May.