2 Rhinebeck students named Merit Scholarship semi-finalists

Two Rhinebeck High School students have been named semi-finalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program.

And one student each from Rhinebeck and Red Hook high schools were named commended students in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Ed Davenport, principal of Rhinebeck High School, announced that Carolyn Goldstone and Megan Heller are semi-finalists, joining 16,000 others throughout the nation who were named from about 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools who took the 2011 PSAT to qualify.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents fewer than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

About 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and will be notified in February. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, according to a press release from Rhinebeck High School.

On the next level down, but still highly honored are National Merit Scholarship Commended Students.

This year, 34,000 students across the country are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise by the commendation.

Among them are Red Hook High School senior Molly Schroeder and Rhinebeck High School senior Sean Phelan.

Each will receive a Letter of Commendation from their school and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program. Commended students placed among the top 5 percent of the more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2013 competition.

“Recognizing academically talented students plays a fundamental role in the advancement of educational excellence within our nation,” a spokesperson for NMSC said in press releases from Davenport and principal Roy Paisley of Red Hook High School. “The young people recognized as Commended Students represent some of the best and brightest minds in the country as demonstrated by their outstanding performance in our highly competitive program. We sincerely hope this recognition will provide them with additional educational outlets and motivate them in their pursuit of academic achievement.”

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