Credit: Credit: Albemarle County Public Schools

DATE: September 17, 2015
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049

Eleven Albemarle County Public Schools Seniors are Among Top One Percent of Students in National Merit Scholarship Program

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Eleven Albemarle County Public Schools students have been selected as National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists for 2016. They will be competing to be chosen next spring as Finalists and Merit Scholars, qualifying for scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) and from corporations, businesses, colleges and universities that are program sponsors.

Five students from Albemarle High School, Wesley Daugherty, Selena Feng, Alexander Herrick, Cole Martin, and Sarah Skrutskie, are 2016 semi-finalists, as are three students from Monticello High School, Kelly Bao, Caroline Fernandez, and Peter Tegethoff, and three students from Western Albemarle High School, Isabella Ferrnandez, Sophie Salomon, and Lillian Xu.

All of these seniors ranked in the top one percent of the 1.5 million high school juniors who took the qualifying test a year ago. They are eligible to be selected as finalists early next year and as Merit Scholars in the spring.

“Scoring in the top one percent of competitors in any endeavor is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Dr. Matt Haas, Albemarle County’s Assistant Superintendent of Schools. “The extraordinary test scores of these students are a tribute to their consistently high academic achievements, their love of learning, and their impressive dedication to success,” Dr. Haas added.

“The next phase in this process will look at leadership qualities both in school and on behalf of the community, and we’re confident our students will continue to be very competitive among their peers across the country,” Dr. Haas said.

In February, the NMSC will select finalists based upon academic records, school recommendations, SAT scores, an essay, and the leadership activities noted by Dr. Haas.

All finalists are eligible to receive one of three merit scholarships. Approximately 2,500 students nationwide will receive a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship; 3,900 students will receive scholarships from colleges and universities that sponsor National Merit Scholarship awards; and another 1,000 students will receive scholarships from businesses that also are National Merit Scholarship sponsors.

The not-for-profit National Merit Scholarship Corporation was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The corporation receives no government assistance; scholarships are funded by the corporation and its 440 business and higher education partners.

According to NMSC, each year its program “honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.”