• BCHS "Heart & Soul" Senior Art Show
• Memorial Day, No School/Offices Closed
• BCHS Awards Ceremony, 7 p.m.
Five BC students named National Merit Scholar semifinalists
Five Bethlehem Central High School students have been named semifinalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship (NMS) Competition.
Seniors Alexandra Rathjens, Jacob Wolfsberg, Alisa White, Jamie Rosen and Philip Groenwegen were chosen as members of the nationwide pool of 16,000 semifinalists. That group accounts for less than one percent of high school seniors in the United States.
The students earned the recognition based on their performance on the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.
The five Bethlehem scholars all said this achievement is the culmination of years of hard work.
“Not only is it an honor to be a National Merit Scholar,” said Philip, “but it’s an honor to be in the company of these fellow classmates that I look up to.” His post-graduation plans include studying economics and a possible run for president.
“I’m very proud of this accomplishment,” said Alexandra, who plans on majoring in graphic design and business at either VCU or the University of Delaware.
“I feel like I’m representing my district and my classmates well,” said Jacob, who aspires to major in physics, math or computer science at Harvard.
Alisa, who is looking at many schools with the intention of majoring in biology and international relations, said, “It’s definitely an honor to be named a National Merit Scholar, and it puts a nice little capstone on all these years of hard work that we’ve put in.”
“With this being our senior year, this honor is a milestone for all of us,” said Jamie. She plans on majoring in community health and political science. “We have put in a lot of years into being academically successful and it’s nice to be recognized in this way.”
These academically talented students have an opportunity
to continue in the competition for some 8,300 National Merit Scholarships,
worth more than $32 million, that will be offered next spring.
To become a finalist and ultimately win a scholarship, students are judged on several criteria, including academic performance, SAT scores, recommendations and their application to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Of the 1.5 million entrants, some 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores (critical reading + mathematics + writing skills scores) qualify for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program. In April following the fall test administration, high-scoring participants from every state are invited to name two colleges or universities to which they would like to be referred by NMSC. In September, these high scorers are notified through their schools that they have qualified as either a Commended Student or Semifinalist.