McKinney ISD students earn National Merit Scholarship honors

By Shane Maulin, McKinney ISD communications coordinator

McKinney, Texas –  In 2013, some 1.4 million high school juniors flocked to testing locations across the country to complete the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/MNSQT®) that serves as an initial screen of entrants in the annual National Merit® Scholarship Program.

This month, officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of 25 McKinney ISD seniors whose outstanding performance on the PSAT/NMSQT earned Commended Scholar recognition, five who have been named Semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship program and two who have been named National Achievement Semifinalists. In addition, the College Board has recognized eight McKinney ISD students in the National Hispanic Recognition program for 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.”

Commended Scholars
More than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT received Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. These exceptional students represent the top two percent of the 1.4 million entrants who took the PSAT/NMSQT in 2013. 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.

2015 McKinney ISD National Merit Commended Scholars

McKinney Boyd High School McKinney High School McKinney North High School
Allison Armstrong
Alexandra Lenczycki
Rebecca Miller
Lauren Nakhleh
Dominic Rodgers
Branson Scott
Brett Voyles
Erik Chow
Andrew Freeman
Sumeet Gautam
Yorgos Karayiannis
Jonathan Knox
Ryan Mathis
Jessica McConahey
Kathryn Millar
Andrew Mobley
Luke Moraglia
Stephanie Ohagi
Brennan Stewart
Reid Yoder
Nicholas Blaskovich
Patrick Holle
Austin McBride
Brittany Stevens
Tasnim Yasin

National Merit Semifinalists
National Merit Scholarship Corporation has named approximately 16,000 students as National Merit Semifinalists. These students have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

2015 McKinney ISD National Merit Semifinalists

McKinney Boyd High School McKinney North High School
Thomas Nguyen
Katherine Procter
Haven Trahan
Blair Walker
Aaron Mead

From among the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. 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.

National Achievement Scholarship Semifinalists
National Merit Scholarship Corporation officials have designated more than 1,600 Black American high school seniors as Semifinalists in the 51st annual National Achievement Scholarship program. These scholastically talented young men and women now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for approximately 800 Achievement Scholarship® awards worth about $2.5 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a National Achievement Scholarship, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 80 percent of Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win an Achievement Scholarship award. To date, approximately 33,500 young men and women have received Achievement Scholarship awards worth about $105 million.

2015 McKinney ISD National Achievement Semifinalists

McKinney Boyd High School McKinney High School
Dominic Rodgers Stephanie Ohagi

National Hispanic Recognition Program
Each year, the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) identifies academically talented Hispanic/Latino high school students. This year, about 5,000 of the highest-scoring students from among the approximately 250,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors who took the PSAT/NMSQT have received recognition. 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.

2015 McKinney ISD National Hispanic Recognition Honorees

McKinney Boyd High School McKinney High School McKinney North High School
Rachel Clark
Olivia Hermosillo
Katherine Moon
Karen Sanchez
Christian Schneider
Natalia Espinosa
Jason Lopez
Tyler Gerig

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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