Local News
September 28, 2016

Jonas Kantola named semifinalist student in 2017 National Merit Scholarship

WOODSTOCK—Principal Garon Smail, Woodstock Union High School, announced Sept. 22, that Jonas M. Kantola has been named a semifinalist in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship program. Approximately 16,000 semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, have been nominated for 2017. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring.
From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.
Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2017 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.
About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2017 program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screening of program entrants.
To become a finalist, the semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed application. He or she must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
Commended Student
Principal Smail also announced Sept. 22 that Jenna Majeski has been named a Commended Student in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship program. A letter of commendation from the school and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented by the principal to this scholastically talented senior.
About 34,000 commended students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2017 competition for the National Merit Scholarship, Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).
“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “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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