Bryce Ledford from Pisgah High School is the 2018 Haywood County Schools’ U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Nominee.  Each school system in the state may submit one nominee based upon two criteria.  The selected nominee (1) must have demonstrated leadership and (2) must have overcome significant challenges or hurdles while achieving high academic success.

While Bryce is not in a formal leadership position, he is a role model to his peers and younger students.  Bryce is very active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes. When asked why he thinks he was nominated, Bryce humbly acknowledges he tries to be nice to everyone and help where needed.  “Bryce is genuinely a great person and brings a lot of fun to the classroom,” said Marketing teacher, Jennifer Cragg.  “He is competitive and always eager to learn.  Bryce really enjoys getting involved in projects and class discussions.   It is a pleasure to see him interact with his peers.  He’s one of those students who makes you love teaching and challenges you to be your best.”

Bryce is a miracle. He had a one percent chance of living and if he survived, he was expected to be in a vegetative state.  Fast forward 18 years, Bryce has a 4.02 weighted GPA, successfully taking honors and college-level coursework and preparing for post-secondary education.  He has endured multiple and various surgeries and physical therapy throughout his life to reduce the fluid surrounding his brain and eyes.  Like other high school students, Bryce struggles to balance schoolwork and sports (basketball and golf), which is what he said has been his biggest hurdle.  Few, if any, other students compare with the challenges Bryce has overcome and the gratefulness he shows for the opportunities he is able to experience.  “Bryce pushes himself,” said math teacher Kristy Sorrells.  “He consistently comes in early to get help.  Bryce does not let his medical issues determine his destiny.”

Bryce’s intrinsic motivation and work ethic are remarkable.  He encourages others to be their best in the classroom and in athletic competition.  Ledford said, “If you work hard, don’t give up and trust in God, you can get through any challenge.”

Contact:  Dr. Bill Nolte, Superintendent