By Matt Mackinder
Clarkston News Editor
INDEPENDENCE TWP. — Five Clarkston High School seniors have been named in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Drew Dollins, Katarina Fisher, Andrew Floros, Katherine Meyer, and Kyle Nord make up the quintet. Dollins, Meyer and Nord were subsequently named semifinalists in a group of more than 16,000 students nationwide (less than 1% of the country’s graduating seniors), and will now compete for some 7,140 National Merit scholarships worth nearly $28 million next spring.
“I feel like this is recognition that I am doing my best, that I am putting my best foot forward in the world of academics,” Nord said. “That recognition is what it’s about for me. Academics have come rather easily to me, but I like to put 100% of what I can put into everything that I do.”
Dollins said the honor can open doors down the road.
“It gives you opportunities and gives you recognition for all the work you’ve put in,” Dollins said. “I’ve been generally decent at school throughout my childhood. My parents and my brother, they were all pretty good at academics, so I’ve been trying to follow in their footsteps and prove that I can be the best me.”
For Meyer, being a scholar runs in the family.
“It’s really cool, my brother (Owen) was a Merit Scholar so it’s kind of nice to follow in his footsteps and not be worse than him,” said Meyer. “I also found (academics) fun at a young age and so I’ve always kind of stuck with it so I could go further with my education.”
About 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.
“It’s something that’s very rewarding and something I’m very proud of,” Floros said. “I’m proud that I’m able to represent my school and teachers and people in my life that have helped me get to this point.”
Fisher said she realizes hard work can go a long way.
“I’m proud of myself for how much I worked for my scores on the PSAT, and I think it’s a great way to represent my school and my academics,” said Fisher. “I want to have a good career and be successful in my future. Academics are really important to make that happen.”
The National Merit Scholar Corporation uses Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) Selection Index scores as an initial screen of some 1.3 million program entrants.
PHOTO: From left, Katherine Meyer, Drew Dollins, Andrew Floros, Kyle Nord, and Katarina Fisher represent their school academically. Photo: Matt Mackinder