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Liberty Christian Announces National Merit Semifinalists, Commended Students

Oct 12, 2015 08:19AM ● By Audrey Sellers

National Merit Students at Convocation (from left): Dalton Weed, Caleb Allison, Kenneth Wong, Aron Hawkins, Madeleine McMillan, Todd Deetjen, Matthew Hulke, Kennedy Collins, Kirie Psaromatis and Mary Jane Stidham

In September, Liberty Christian students Caleb Allison and Kenneth Wong were named Semifinalists in the 61st annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Out of approximately 1.5 million juniors from more than 22,000 high schools who entered the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), Caleb and Kenneth were among 16,000 students who achieved this Semifinalist status. These academically talented Upper School seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

To become a Finalist, Semifinalists and their school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalists’ academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment history, and honors and awards received. Semifinalists must have an outstanding academic record throughout Upper School, be endorsed and recommended by a school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm their earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From 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.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2016 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 315,000 other distinguished students who have earned the Merit Scholar title since the program began 61 years ago.

Liberty Christian School has 10 recently Commended students in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program: Kennedy Collins, Todd Deetjen, Aron Hawkins, Matthew Hulke, Madeleine McMillan, Kirie Psaromatis, Mary Jane Stidham and Dalton Weed.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Commended Students place among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2016 competition by taking the 2014 PSAT/NMSQT.

“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” said a spokesperson for NMSC in a press release. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

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