Rye Country Day School Senior Charles Curnin Named 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholar

Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Education named Rye Country Day School senior Charles Curnin as a member of the 54th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, recognizing 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Charlie has been a student at Rye Country Day School since fourth grade. During his time in the RCDS Upper School, he has excelled in the classroom while taking six honors courses, nine Advanced Placement courses, and five post-AP courses. Having stretched the bounds of the school's curriculum in math, physics, and Latin, Charlie pursued independent study in Quantum Mechanics, a guided study in Advanced Topics in Latin Language and Literature, and a course in Multivariable Calculus with Stanford University online.

Outside of the classroom, Charlie holds leadership roles in a number of RCDS clubs and organizations, most notably the Classics Club (he is the president and founder) and the school newspaper, Crop, for which he has served as Editor-In-Chief for the past two years. Charlie is also heavily involved with tutoring other students on campus through the RCDS peer tutoring program, and through SiSTEM, a tutoring option specifically for students who need help in science and math.

Last summer, Charlie took a job with the Ashley Laboratory at Stanford University working with big data, specifically in the field of bio-informatics. Charlie currently is completing a senior project that extends his work with the Ashley Lab. Charlie explains, "Most of my work is in identifying and analyzing hard-to-detect genetic anomalies that often go unnoticed. My main project currently relates to applying AI to study the super rare mutations that cause super rare disease." Last year, while working at the New York Genome Center, Charlie developed a website, which was then published by the Oxford University Press, on which people can see for themselves what their DNA means for their health. In April, Charlie presented his work at the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics Meeting. He will matriculate at Stanford this fall.

"We are extremely proud of Charlie's outstanding academic accomplishments, his leadership and service, and his exciting work with the Ashley Laboratory at Stanford," says Scott Nelson, Rye Country Day School's headmaster.

The 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars comprise one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education. The 2018 ceremony will be held June 24, when each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion. Jade Carvalho of Smithtown, New York, is the other student from New York to be so honored. Congratulations to both students!