Putnam students named National Merit Finalists
Four Putnam County Schools’ students have been named finalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Putnam County Schools’ 2019 National Merit Finalists are: Kenny Powell, Winfield High School; Ellie James, Winfield High School; Aaron Withrow, Winfield High School, and Ashlyn Pechon, Hurricane High School.
The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.
To become a National Merit Finalist, the semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A semifinalist 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.
From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level. All National Merit Scholarship winners are selected from this group of finalists. Merit Scholar designees will be 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.
Shepherd team brings home championship
The Shepherd University Debate and Forensics Team was named national champion in Division I Team Speech Sweepstakes at the 2019 Public Communication Speech and Debate National Championship Tournament April 6-7 in Indianapolis. This is the first time Shepherd’s team has earned the Division I national title.
Miranda Jones, a political science major from Huntingtown, Maryland, is the national champion in National Pentathlon and Audible Interpretation, and national runner-up in Improvisational Duo. She took third place in Great Speeches, Radio Broadcasting, Pecha Kucha, Table Topics, Research Paper, and Interviewing.
Madison Ronevich, Inwood, is national runner-up in Sports Communication and national semifinalist in College Public Forum. She won third place in Humorous Political Commentary and fifth for Best Tournament Speaker.
Kristiana Carnivale, Inwood, is national runner-up for Humorous Political Commentary, fourth in Interviewing, fifth in Radio Broadcasting, and sixth in Improvisational Duo
Eric Ostrow, Reisterstown, Maryland, was also national runner-up in Improvisational Duo and Pecha Kucha, national semifinalist in College Public Forum, third in Sports Communication, fourth in Table Topics and National Pentathlon, and sixth in Best Tournament Speaker.
Ryan Dudrow, Hedgesville, took fourth in Sports Communication, fifth in Great Speeches and Research Paper, and sixth in Improvisational Duo.
Aubrey Duckworth, Kingwood, won fourth in Humorous Political Commentary, and sixth in Great Speeches and Research Paper.
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