The Miami Trace Local Schools Board of Education honored four high school students on Monday evening for their involvement in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Earlier this month, Miami Trace High School received word from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation that two students — Simon and Henry DeBruin — were named finalists. Additionally, two more students — Caleb Perry and John Bryant who were named as “commended students” for their participation in the program last September — were honored on Monday.
“We are very proud of their accomplishment, this is probably one of the best years we have had as far as number of students being recognized for such a great accomplishment,” Miami Trace High School Principal Rob Enochs said during the board meeting Monday. “This obviously doesn’t happen by accident. These students take their studies and schooling very serious, the staff also helped by challenging them along the way and I know these students also have very supportive parents. It really is a team effort, but those four young men have worked incredibly hard over the last four years and are very deserving of this award.”
According to a press release from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, over 1.5 million students in 21,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in October of 2018 and entered into the program. In April of 2019, the corporation identified the 50,000 highest scorers and notified their high schools. Out of the 50,000 students, 16,000 were further designated as semi-finalists and were allowed to continue in the competition.
Then on Feb. 3, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the finalists in the competition who will be considered for scholarships being offered this year. Out of the 16,000, nearly 90 percent further qualified to be finalists. The corporation said it will now work on the selection of roughly 7,500 scholarship winners. These students will be notified in March if they are named a winner. Three types of scholarships will be offered as part of the competition, the first is what every finalist is competing for, the National Merit $2,500 scholarship. The other two types include about 1,000 corporate-sponsored scholarships and about 4,100 college-sponsored scholarships for finalists.
“Simon and Henry made it to the finalist stage and now they are now in direct competition for scholarships,” Enochs said. “We are extremely proud of this and we do consider it a feather in the cap. These students are competing against the best around the country and I believe this to be the most strenuous academic competition in the nation. So these students being in the top 1 percent, or even the top 3 percent as commended students, is not something to take lightly. I know we couldn’t remember a time — and I hope I am right when I say this — since the 1990s that we had a finalist, let alone two finalists and two commended students. We had quite a few students participate in the program and we try to encourage that. I think our teachers do a great job in challenging our students and obviously our students are rising the occasion.”
The information in this article was provided by Miami Trace High School Principal Rob Enochs. Stay with the Record-Herald for more coverage of the Miami Trace Board of Education in future editions of the paper.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.