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MCPS Students Recognized for Academic Excellence and Leadership

May 6, 2015

Two students named Presidential Scholars; 21 Receive National Merit $2,500 Scholarships

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students continue to receive national recognition for their excellence and high academic achievement.

Two MCPS students were recognized this week as U.S. Presidential Scholars—the only public school students from Maryland to receive the honor.

On Wednesday (May 6, 2015), 21 MCPS students from six high schools were awarded National Merit $2,500 Scholarships financed by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. 

U.S. Presidential Scholars

Patrick E. Cha, of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, and Emily Yang, of Richard Montgomery High School, were among 141 students nationally to be named U.S. Presidential Scholars. The students were chosen by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations, and transcripts, as well as community service and leadership.

More than 4,300 seniors across the nation qualified for the 2015 awards, based on their SAT and ACT performance and nominations made by national organizations. One male winner and one female winner was chosen from each state, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and among families living abroad. Others are selected at-large or as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

The students honored are asked to select their most influential teacher. Mr. Cha chose David Lopilato, an English teacher at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. Ms. Yang chose Susan Leckie, an English teacher at Richard Montgomery High School.

The students will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion during a ceremony on June 21.

National Merit $2,500 Scholarships

MCPS accounted for 40 percent of the 52 students in Maryland to receive National Merit $2,500 Scholarships. The scholars were selected from a pool of more than 15,000 students, and will receive a one-time award of $2,500 for postsecondary education. 
 
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) was established in 1955 to honor scholastically talented youth and encourage academic excellence at all levels of education. The scholarships are privately funded by NMSC, and are underwritten by more than 400 corporate and college sponsors. Recipients are judged to have the strongest record of accomplishments and greatest potential for success in college. 
 
On April 22, seven MCPS seniors from five high schools were announced as recipients of Corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarships, which are financed by corporations, company foundations, and other business organizations. On April 8, seven MCPS students were announced as recipients of National Achievement Scholarships, which recognize outstanding academic achievement of African American high school seniors across the United States. Additional National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced later this year.

The MCPS recipients of 2015 National Merit $2,500 scholarships and their intended field of study are: 

Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
Noa X. Gur-Arie, International Law
Jacob S. Rubashkin, Politics

Montgomery Blair High School
Mari-Therese S. Burton, Materials Science
Arjuna M. Subramanian, Mathematics
Sarah L. Wagner, undecided
Jingjing Xu, Applied Mathematics
Catherine S. Xue, Epidemiology

Winston Churchill High School
Marisa R. Lu, Design
Chaitanya Singh, Engineering

Richard Montgomery High School
Myra Y. Deng, Engineering
Catherine C. Wang, Engineering
Richard L. Yarrow, Public Service
Helen L. Yang, Electrical Engineering
Ellen X. Yao, Applied Mathematics
Matthew F. Zipf, Computer Science

Walt Whitman High School
Talia L. Brenner, History
Lauren M. Phillips, Medicine

Thomas S. Wootton High School
Jack Z. Dai, Computer Science
Alex A. Danoff, Engineering
Nipun Kottage, Medicine
Paul M. Neves, Physics

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