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54 MISD Seniors Earn National Merit and College Board Recognition

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Monday, October 16, 2017

McKinney, Texas – In the fall of 2016, approximately 1.6 million high school juniors in more than 22,000 high schools sat down in testing locations across the country to take the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT©) which served as an initial screen of entrants in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Those students are seniors now, and in September, officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of 29 McKinney ISD students whose outstanding performance on the PSAT/NMSQT earned Commended Scholar recognition and 12 who have been named Semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship program.

In addition, the College Board has recognized 16 MISD students in the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) based on their performance on the PSAT/NMSQT.

“To earn recognition by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the College Board is one of the great academic achievements a student can attain during his or her high school years,” said Marita Cleaver, McKinney ISD Coordinator of Advanced Academics. “Such recognition honors those students who focus on college readiness and commit their efforts and dedication to this goal on their path to success in college and life.

“It equally honors all those who have provided a solid foundation of educational growth throughout these students’ academic careers. We are proud and humbled to have such hard working and dedicated students in MISD, and we congratulate them and their families as they celebrate these outstanding academic achievements,” said Cleaver.

Group photo of Boyd students

McKinney Boyd High School— Front row (l-r): Jasmine Gagnon (Commended), Mariam Ali (Commended), Margaret Brock (Commended), Sara Schuster (Commended), Alyssa Low (Semifinalist), Christian Duffee (Semifinalist), Hansu Kim (Commended), Aaron Katada (Commended), Christina Garcia (NHRP), Smriti Natarajan (Semifinalist); Back row (l-r): Madison Procter (Commended), Jarod Norwood (Commended), Nicholas Wike (Commended), Jai Mistry (Commended), Kathryn Uribe (NHRP), Benjamin Jesseph (Commended), Mckenzy Smith (NHRP), Maci Hall (NHRP), Tanner Smith (NHRP), Adam Maestas (NHRP), Jadon Seall (Commended), Nichole Jeong (Semifinalist), Trevor Nguyen (Commended) Not pictured: Briar Dluhy (Commended), Ranithri Patuwathavithane (Semifinalist), Eric Peacock (Commended, NHRP)

Group Photo of MHS students

McKinney High School— Front row (l-r): Mason Kemph (NHRP), Andrew Bellah (Commended, NHRP), Jackson Douglas (Commended), Udani Satarasinghe (Commended), Jeremy Bennett (Commended), Cooper Berg (Commended), Jakob Chow (Commended), Ashley Wu (Semifinalist); Back row (l-r): Kierstin Marchal (Semifinalist), Preston Blair (NHRP), Neelam Bohra (Commended), Molly Johnson (Commended), Loren Smith (Commended), Mikaela Candelario (NHRP), Basil El-Hindi (Semifinalist); Not Pictured: Vanessa Vigil (NHRP), Sean Chen (Commended)

Group photo of North students

McKinney North High School— Front Row: Ana Vargas (NHRP), Grace Molera (Semifinalist, NHRP), Jessie Zaruma (NHRP), Jessica Leffel (NHRP); Back Row: Samantha Miller (Semifinalist), Delaney Gaughan (Semifinalist), Scott Biggio (Commended), Charles Saint Pe (Commended), Kathryn Thompson (Commended); Not Pictured: Brooke Brewer (Commended), Elizabeth Love (Semifinalist)

Commended Scholars
About 34,000 of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT received Letters of Commendation in recognition for their outstanding academic promise. These exceptional students represent the top two percent of the students who took the PSAT/NMSQT in 2016.

Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

McKinney ISD National Merit Commended Scholars:

McKinney Boyd High School—Mariam Ali, Margaret Brock, Briar Dluhy, Jasmine Gagnon, Benjamin Jesseph, Aaron Katada, Hansu Kim, Jai Mistry, Trevor Nguyen, Jarod Norwood, Eric Peacock, Madison Procter, Sara Schuster, Jadon Seall, Nicholas Wike

McKinney High School—Andrew Bellah, Jeremy Bennett, Cooper Berg, Neelam Bohra, Sean Chen, Jakob Chow, Jackson Douglas, Molly Johnson, Udani Satarasinghe, Loren Smith

McKinney North High School—Scott Biggio, Brooke Brewer, Charles Saint Pe, Kathryn Thompson

National Merit Semifinalists
National Merit Scholarship Corporation has named approximately 16,000 students Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These students have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 2,500 National Merit Scholarships, approximately 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships® and about 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin or religious preference.

McKinney ISD National Merit Semifinalists:

McKinney Boyd High School—Christian Duffee, Nichole Jeong, Alyssa Low, Smriti Natarajan, Ranithri Patuwathavithane

McKinney High School—Basil El-Hindi, Kierstin Marchal, Ashley Wu

McKinney North High School—Delaney Gaughan, Elizabeth Love, Samantha Miller, Grace Molera

National Hispanic Recognition Program
Each year, the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) recognizes about 5,000 of the highest-scoring students from among the approximately 250,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors who take the PSAT/NMSQT. Although there is no financial award tied to recognition, NHRP makes student information available to colleges and universities that are interested in communicating with academically talented Hispanic/Latino students.

McKinney ISD National Hispanic Recognition Honorees

McKinney Boyd High School—Christina Garcia, Maci Hall, Adam Maestas, Eric Peacock, Tanner Smith, Mckenzy Smith, Kathryn Uribe

McKinney High School—Andrew Bellah, Preston Blair, Mikaela Candelario, Mason Kemph, Vanessa Vigil

McKinney North High School—Jessica Leffel, Grace Molera, Ana Vargas, Jessie Zaruma

National Merit Scholarship Corporation
NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was
established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

The College Board
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity.

Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education.

Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.

Source: National Merit Scholarship Corporation, College Board

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If you need additional assistance with the content on this page, please contact MISD Communications Department team member Shane Mauldin by phone at 469-302-4007 or by email here .

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