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Secretary Cardona Congratulates 2023 President’s Education Awards Program Recipients

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U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today congratulated the 2023 President’s Education Awards Program (PEAP) recipients, recognizing hundreds of thousands of elementary, middle, and high school graduates from public and private schools across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Outlying Areas, and American military bases abroad on their educational accomplishments.

From the opening of the program in March through close-out in the month of June, there have been more than 92,000 unique downloads of 2023 PEAP materials, including Excellence and Achievement certificates and letters from the President and the Secretary. 

“On behalf of President Biden and everyone at the U.S. Department of Education, I want to congratulate and celebrate the talented and hardworking students who have earned the 2023 President’s Education Award,” Secretary Miguel Cardona said. “This year’s awardees have shined academically, demonstrated determination and excellence, and inspired their educators, peers, and families with their strength of character. These remarkable young people are our nation’s future leaders, innovators, artists, and scholars, and their achievements bring all of us in the Biden-Harris administration tremendous hope and pride.” 

PEAP was founded in 1983. Every year since then, the program has provided schools with the opportunity to recognize graduating students who meet high standards of academic excellence and those who have given their best effort, often overcoming obstacles to their learning. 

Each year, eligible graduating K-12 students are selected by their school principals for recognition in one of two categories: 

  • The President’s Award for Educational Excellence – This award recognizes academic success in the classroom. To be eligible, students must meet requirements, including grade point average or other school-set criteria and choice of state tests or teacher recommendations. 
  • The President’s Award for Educational Achievement – This award recognizes students who show outstanding educational growth, improvement, commitment, or intellectual development in their academic subjects but do not meet the criteria for the Educational Excellence Award. Its purpose is to encourage and reward students who work hard and give their best effort, often in the face of obstacles. Criteria for this award are developed at each school. 

Individual recognition is bestowed by the President and the U.S. Secretary of Education, in partnership with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The award includes a congratulatory letter to the student and a certificate signed by the President, the Secretary, and the school principal. 

Unlike other awards programs, the principal has sole discretion in choosing recipients based on eligibility. There is no limit on the number of awards that can be distributed, as long as students meet the criteria for each award set by the school. 

This year the agency again made available the Excellence and Achievement certificates, as well as congratulatory letters from the President and Secretary of Education, available digitally. Also, PEAP-related products, such as folders, pins, and graduation cords, remain available to order from the National Association of Elementary School Principals at https://www.services-naesp.org/peap/t-main.aspx 

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