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Seventeen More Students are Merit Scholars

May 1, 2003
Seventeen students have won $2,500 National Merit Scholarships after meeting rigorous academic standards and other criteria. The latest announcement brings the number of Merit scholars from Montgomery County Public Schools to 25 this academic year, including eight winners of corporate-sponsored awards.

The local scholars account for 31 percent of the 55 winners from Maryland. Nationally, 2,500 winners were selected from about 15,000 finalists in the 2003 program, sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Listed by school, the winners and their intended career fields are:

· Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School: Benjamin A. Simon, international relations

· Montgomery Blair High School: Matthew D. Baron, mathematics; Joshua T. Chang, electrical engineering; Evan A. Karlik, biomedical engineering; Lisa Leung, mathematics

· Winston Churchill High School: Alexander C. Fanaroff, medicine; Leslie A. Lee, engineering

· Walter Johnson High School: Neil S. Tyler, business

· Richard Montgomery High School: David I. Benjamin, physics; Vanessa M. Gonzalez, business; Berendena Vander Tuig, genetics; Jordan M. Wish, engineering

· Walt Whitman High School: Michael F. Dinerstein, political science; Neir Eshel, medicine; Caitlin Horn, business; Anushka M. Sunder, medicine

· Thomas S. Wootton High School: Wei Gan, medicine/physics

The scholars are all high school seniors who were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors who evaluated each finalist.

Students attained finalist status based on criteria such as exceptional performance on standardized tests and in the classroom, strong recommendations from school officials, and a statement of goals and interests. The finalists were selected from about 16,000 semifinalists announced last fall. MCPS had 118 semifinalists.

Later this month and in July, about 4,000 recipients of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be announced.

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