Four Hanover Park Seniors Named
National Merit Scholarship Finalists
John Lu, Sohum Pawar, Emily Portuguese, and Mira Wang
were named as finalists for this year's National Merit Scholarship Program.
“Our students have proven themselves to be outstanding scholars whose efforts
have been recognized by being ranked among the top 16,000 National Merit
Finalists out of 1.5 million students who took the PSAT in October of 2012,”
said Carol Grossi, Superintendent of Schools. “I applaud our students' efforts
and congratulate each of them in accomplishing this truly significant
Placement in the NMSP is derived from performance on the preliminary
SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and an initial
screen of program entrants. The four students named this year in Dexter took
those tests in October 2013. They are among 1.5 million students in 22,000 high
schools across the country that entered the program when taking the screening
tests during their junior year.
“I am extremely proud of John, Emily, Sohum, and Mira. This achievement is a
testament to their hard work and dedication to their academic studies”, said Tom
Callanan, principal of Hanover Park High School. “They represent the best that
this school has to offer and I commend them for their scholarship, leadership,
and service to the Hanover Park community.” He also noted that the school has
not had this many finalists in several years.
John, Emily, Sohum, and Mira represent the very best at Hanover Park, both
inside and outside of the classroom. Several faculty members that have taught
the finalists shared their thoughts about their accomplishments. These students
are “without question among the most responsible, inquiry-devoted students I’ve
encountered during my ten-year career at Hanover Park High School”, said Colleen
Harvan, an English teacher at the high school. “It is not just their
intelligence, ambition, and skills, but their enthusiasm and excitement and
willingness to go outside of their comfort zone that sets them apart”, said
history teacher Ryan Thomas.
Last September nearly 16,000 students representing less than one percent of U.S.
high school seniors were recognized as National Merit Semifinalists in the early
stage of the process. To advance in the competition, these students subsequently
took the SAT Reasoning Test, completed a lengthy application and submitted a
comprehensive letter of recommendation from their high school counselor.
Amy Wasser, District Supervisor of Guidance, said “the honor of being selected
underscores the talents, skills, and accomplishments of these four outstanding
students. I congratulate John, Sohum, Emily, and Mira on being selected as
finalists in the 2014 competition for the National Merit Scholarship.”
The awards are supported by 450 independent sponsors and by the National Merit
Scholarship Corporation. Finalists can earn up to $2,500 in scholarship money
from the program's National Merit scholarships, corporate-sponsored merit
scholarship awards, and college-sponsored merit scholarship awards.