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CHS senior Riley Wilk named semifinalist in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD
vv Riley Wilk
Riley Wilk has been named a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Courtesy photo.
DUVALL–Cedarcrest High School senior Riley Wilk is one of 16,000 high-school students who were named semifinalists in the 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Students who have attained this impressive  level of accomplishment are now eligible to compete for 8,300 Merit Scholarships, worth more than $34 million dollars which will be offered next spring.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is a not-for-profit organization which operates without government assistance, and was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.  Scholarships for the program are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions, and encouraging them in their pursuit of academic excellence.

Approximately 1.5 million high school juniors in 22,000 high schools entered the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program, by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSTA/NMSQT).

Cedarcrest Principal Clarence Lavarias said, “Riley is an exceptional student. He challenges himself academically by enrolling in many advanced placement and honors classes. He maintains a solid 3.95 GPA and is deeply involved in both our music and computer programs. Riley is a talented individual with many diverse interests and skills.”

Teacher Mike Miyoshi commented on Riley’s impressive work ethic stating, “ Riley constantly challenges himself and works very hard ... choosing to take such classes as AP computer science for his 3rd year of computer programming. Riley’s dedication to his work, and his ability to continually challenge himself are qualities that stand out to me.”

To become a finalist, semifinalists such as Riley must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.  Riley will now submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes an essay and information about his participation and leadership in school and community activities.

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