SARTELL - After weighing numerous college choices during his time at Sartell High School, Gopi Ramanathan has decided to attend Cornell University in New York.

"Cornell has a very beautiful campus, I'm thinking of doing a double major, one in an engineering or technology field and the other in political science or international relations," Ramanathan says.

Submitted photo from the Sartell-St. Stephen school district.
Submitted photo from the Sartell-St. Stephen school district.

Ramanathan is enjoying his summer after a bustling academic career in Sartell: he was president of the State Student Council Association and Central Student Council Division. He won gold at national geography bees while also playing soccer and a big role on the knowledge bowl team.

He's also getting ready for a trip to Washington D.C. on June 19th after being one of 160 high school seniors in the country to be named a 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholar.

"As of right now they haven't really told us the schedule. So far I know I'll be getting a medallion from the Secretary of Education and I'm hearing rumors that we'll get to go to the White House."

The U.S. Presidential Scholars program was created in 1964 and has since honored nearly 7,000 of the nation's top performing students. Each Presidential Scholar is given an opportunity to name their most influential teacher: Ramanathan picked Karrie Fredrickson from Sartell High School.

Reflecting, Ramanathan says his favorite memories over his senior year were taking part in student council leadership and being a part of the soccer team. He hopes that he left a positive impact on the school through his leadership work. He's was also happy the school referendum passed last month.

"Leaving Sartell, I hope I left a lasting mark, I hope I made the schools better and the community better."