Eighteen MCPS students have won $2,000 National Merit Scholarships after meeting rigorous academic standards and other criteria, announced the National Merit Scholarship Corp. (NMSC).
The local scholars account for more than a third of the 49 winners from Maryland. Only 2,400 winners nationally were selected from about 15,000 finalists in the 1999 Merit Program.
Listed by school, the MCPS winners and their intended career fields are:
Montgomery Blair HS:
Nora F. Achrati, medicine;
Brian C. Han;
Niels K. Hoven, mechanical engineering;
Elaine A. Kim, electrical engineering;
Jean N. Lee, aerospace engineering;
Kaushik Roy, electrical engineering;
Jacob Paul, medicine/clergy/poetry;
Marc P. Pulupa, physics;
Winston Churchill HS:
Ruchika Gutt, medicine;
Cynthia W. Lau, physics;
Paint Branch HS:
Elena Maria Jimenez;
Richard Montgomery HS:
Cillian Nolan, public policy;
James E. Reed, philosophy;
Justin M. Ward;
Walt Whitman HS:
Carolyn P. Snyder, research science;
Daniel L. Spiegel, music-piano performance; and
Aaron M. Tievsky, mathematics; and
Thomas S. Wootton HS:
Christopher L. Guo, biochemistry.
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's academic record, standardized test scores, contributions to school and community activities, personal interests and goals, and recommendations from school principals.
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 has 131 semifinalists in the program.
The latest announcement brings the number of Merit scholars from MCPS to 24, which includes six winners of corporate-sponsored awards. On May 19 and in late July, the NMSC will announce the winners of Merit Scholarships sponsored by colleges and universities for finalists who will attend those institutions.