Senior a Presidential Scholars semifinalist

Raymond Slifer is the only student in Pennsylvania to achieve the program’s CTE designation and one of only 56 nationwide.
Posted on 04/23/2021
Raymond Slifer of Quakertown Community High School and the Upper Bucks County Technical School.By Gary Weckselblatt

Raymond Slifer, a senior at Quakertown Community High School and Upper Bucks County Technical School, has been named a Career and Technical Education semifinalist candidate in the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

From nearly 3.6 million graduating high school seniors, more than 6,500 students were identified as candidates in the program, and 625 semifinalists have been selected from across the country.

Raymond is the only student in Pennsylvania to achieve the program’s CTE designation and one of only 56 nationwide.

“I couldn’t be more proud for Raymond to achieve this very rare and extraordinary honor,” QCHS Principal Mattias van't Hoenderdaal said. “This accomplishment didn’t happen by accident. He has worked very hard and this is a testament to his effort. He is a fine example for our students to follow and he is certain to have wonderful opportunities in the future.”

Raymond said “it’s just an amazing feeling” to be in such select company.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations, and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Their Chief State School Officers nominated the Career and Technical Education candidates based on their career and technical education accomplishments.

The Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. That’s where Raymond excels. He is the first UBCTS Presidential Scholar candidate.

A Machining Technologies student, Raymond is a Cooperative Education student trainee employed by Bracalente Manufacturing Group in Trumbauersville. He is a tool room technician and has received all excellent evaluations from his employer He has also excelled in the Machining Technologies Program, earning the OSHA 10 Safety Certification and several National Institute of Metal Working Skills Certifications. He was named a member of the National Technical Honor Society and has competed and placed at SkillsUSA machining competitions at the district and state levels.

Raymond, an Eagle Scout, is a junior firefighter with the Richlandtown Fire Co. He is enrolled in the UBCTS/Bucks County Community College Technical Entrepreneurship Program and will seek his associate’s degree upon graduation. He will then transfer to Pennsylvania College of Technology and major in Manufacturing Engineering.

“We are very proud of Raymond’s accomplishments," said Michael Herrera, Assistant Director at UBCTS. "His academic success, community service, technical abilities, strong work ethic, and commitment to excellence are without peer. Raymond embodies the value of receiving a Career and Technical Education.”

Raymond is the son of Rachel and Ronald Slifer of Quakertown.

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.
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