Four Monroe High School students have been named Commended Scholars in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Kathryn Dunham, Devon Johnson, Danielle Latimore, and Tiffany Ohlsen placed in the top 3.5 percent of the nation in their Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test results.
As Commended Scholars, they are among the top approximately 50,000 of the more than 1,500,000 students who take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) annually.
“This is pretty awesome,” said Dunham, who is just starting to apply to colleges. Dunham spent the summer in Costa Rica studying Spanish. “Whatever job I end up having, I want to travel,” she commented.
She is taking the rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) Spanish class, along with AP Calculus and AP Biology this year. She serves as Vice President of Future Farmers of America (FFA), and is in 4H, Science Club, and Key Club.
“I feel very honored,” said Johnson. “I’m really happy about it.”
Johnson got a head start on senior year by completing her culminating challenge, a graduation requirement, on optometry in summer school. Her own optometrist, Dr. Kevin Hirano, allowed Johnson to shadow the doctor for a day.
“It was ‘eye opening’ to see the different issues people come in for,” she joked. Johnson plans to be an optometrist and hopes to attend Pacific University in Oregon. She is taking calculus and statistics, and keeps busy with tennis, band, and “a lot of clubs.”
Latimore is also taking a heavy workload, including four AP classes this year.
“It’s really fun,” she said. “I like all of my classes, and the homework is not as bad as junior year.” She plays varsity volleyball, rides horses and is involved in 4H. Latimore plans to compete in track and field.
“I’m just embracing all the senior moments and having as good a year as I can,” she commented. She is applying to a variety of colleges and is leaning towards a major in science or math. She recently had an interview with a representative from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“This is a great honor,” said Ohlsen. “It shows that the hard work I have put into studying has paid off.” And she is still studying and keeping busy by taking three AP classes this year and running cross country. She will begin to play basketball on the MHS team this quarter and perhaps compete in track in the spring. She is applying to four-year universities with an eye towards a career in a medical field or bio-engineering.