Three class of 2014 students at Poland Seminary High School - Marissa Gray, Henriette Ovaska and Matthew Slaven - have been named as commended students in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program.
According to PSHS guidance counselor Judy Volosin, the three students actually began their journey in their junior year. They took the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and scored well.
"They placed in the nation's top 50,000 out of 1.5 million taking the test," Volosin said. "It is a prestigious honor to place that high."
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation selects 16,000 of those top 50,000 to continue in an attempt to earn a national scholarship. The remaining 34,000 are sent letters of commendation from their school and from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Those letters carry some weight with them for college-bound students.
"Because it is a national recognition, Gray, Ovaska, and Slaven can put the letter on their college application to show they are high achievers," Volosin said. "It could be a factor in acceptance and other possible scholarships. It says this student is strong in school when compared nationally."
Volosin said Poland has had two or three commended in the past. She said in the last two years PSHS has not had anyone receive commendation, making the three this year a welcomed honor.
"To top it off, all three are really good students," she said.
She added that the three students are definitely planning on attending college next fall, but none have made a definite decision yet. Whatever college they settle on, the letters of commendation will be a major asset for their college application.
Although the three students will not continue in the competition for Merit Scholarship awards, commended students placed among the top five percent of those who entered the 2014 competition by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Scholarship Qualifying Test.