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All Saints High School Announces Three Seniors Named as National Merit Scholars

LUBBOCK, TX (NEWS RELEASE) - All Saints High School is proud to announce that its 25-member Class of 2018 has three seniors receiving honors by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Two of the seniors have been named National Merit Semifinalists while one senior has been designated as a Commended Scholar.

Natalie Chaudhuri and Colten Cannon were named as National Merit Semifinalists and are eligible to continue in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship competition for scholarships worth more than $32 million to be awarded next spring. Sarah Going was named as a National Merit Commended Scholar, which makes her a candidate for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

As members of All Saints third graduating class, Chaudhuri, Cannon, and Going are the first All Saints High School National Merit Scholars in the school’s short six-year history. The Lubbock area has 13 total seniors earning the National Merit Semifinalist status. The three All Saints seniors scored among the highest 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) scores in Texas.

“Students who are recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation share two characteristics: academic talent and an exceptional work ethic. This is definitely is true of Natalie [Chaudhuri], Colten [Cannon], and Sarah [Going],” All Saints Headmaster Bruce Latta said. “What’s more impressive is the fact that all three have taken full advantage of the extra-curricular opportunities at All Saints. They are active in all aspects of school life. Finally, and most importantly, they are exceptional people and wonderful representatives of both All Saints and Lubbock.”

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 PSAT, which serves as an initial screen of program entrants.  The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of the U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

All Saints students in grades 8-11 participated in the 2016 PSAT at All Saints on October 19, the nationally approved testing date.  College Board only enters the scores of students enrolled in the 11th grade for the National Merit Scholarship competition.  All Saints enrolls the younger students in the exam in preparation for their qualifying junior year PSAT.  All Saints will administer the 2017 PSAT to its students enrolled in grades 8-11on October 11, the national testing date.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship Finalist award, Chaudhuri and Cannon along with the other semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition.  About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

To become Finalists, Chaudhuri, Cannon, and All Saints High School must fulfill the same application process as all other Semifinalists. The process includes submitting a detailed scholarship application, in which they will provide information about their academic records, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.  Each Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying PSAT/NMSQT. 

“These three students are members of our third graduating class.  We are so blessed to have such a wonderful and thriving high school program,” All Saints High School Division Head Patti Frullo said. “Our faculty is dedicated to the success of All Saints High School and all of our students.  I congratulate these students in particular on their great accomplishments, both with this honor, as well as in everything they do.  All of our students at All Saints High School are very involved and committed to learning and growing, both in and out of the classroom.”  

Cannon is the secretary of the school’s Student Council as well as historian for the school Chemistry Club.  He is a member of the National Honor Society and participates in varsity football, basketball, track, golf, and cross country. Cannon is also a member of the band and drum line. He was named Top All Saints High School student in the Chemistry Olympiad and All Saints Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) Science Record Holder. Cannon is a member of the UIL Academic Team and competes in math competitions at the TAPPS State Championships. He placed eighth last spring in the State Calculator contest. He volunteers with Lubbock Hype and Freeze Fest in addition to the school’s community service projects, which includes Toys for Tots, Earth Day Clean-Up Project, United Way, South Plains Food Bank, and Lubbock Impact.  Cannon has been enrolled at All Saints since the seventh grade.  He is the son of Mr. Shawn Cannon and Mrs. Emily Cannon.

Chaudhuri is president of the school’s Chemistry Club, captain of the Debate Team, treasurer of the Student Council, editor of the school’s Merkati literary magazine, and editor of the school’s newsletter, The Patrioteer.  She is a member of the Varsity Mock Trial Team, High School Band, Future Problem Solver Team, Varsity Tennis Team, and High School Book Club.  Chaudhuri received the third place Area Award for the Phi Beta Kappa High School Academic Excellence Award, Phi Beta Kappa High School Summa Cum Laude, and was named to the list of Top 250 Speakers in the Country by the National Scholastic Debate Association (NSDA). She is a two-time NSDA National Qualifier and two-time Texas Forensics Association state qualifier. At the TAPPS State Academic Championships, Chaudhuri won the State Social Studies contest, placed second in Ready Writing and Original Oratory, placed fourth in Literary Criticism, and eighth in Current Events. She received Outstanding Student/Patriot Awards for the Highest Grade Point Averages in AP Chemistry, AP English Language and Composition, AP U.S. History, AP Psychology, AP Spanish Language, AP Physics, Pre-Calculus, AP World History, Pre-AP Chemistry, Pre-AP English, Pre-AP Spanish, Algebra II, AP Human Geography, Pre-AP Geometry, Spanish II, Pre-AP Biology, and English.  Chaudhuri received the school’s highest award – the Proven Patriot Award for Overall Excellence- her freshman, sophomore, and junior years.  She volunteers with the school’s Leadership Class and tutors younger students after school as well as participates in the school’s community service projects, which includes Toys for Tots, Earth Day Clean-Up project, Lubbock Hospice Christmas Party, United Way, South Plains Food Bank, and Lubbock Impact. Last summer Chaudhuri participated in the School of the New York Times Program for High School Students. During the summer of 2016, she participated in a two-week English seminar at the Harvard University Pre-College Program. Chaudhuri has been enrolled at All Saints since the sixth grade.  She is the daughter of Dr. Kallol Chaudhuri and Dr Swapna Chaudhuri.

Going is the Senior Class Student Council Representative and is also a member of the Varsity Cheer Team, Mock Trial Team, Varsity Tennis Team, Chemistry Club, National Honor Society, Yearbook Staff, and Band. She received the Phi Beta Kappa High School Academic Excellence Award and the Phi Beta Kappa High School Magna Cum Laude Award.  Going is a Chemistry Olympiad Qualifier and received All Saints Student Scholar Awards in Pre-AP Spanish II and Geospatial Technology.  She was named to the Headmaster Honor Roll her freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Going competes with the TAPPS Academics team in Number Sense, Science, and Mathematics competitions.  She placed seventh in the TAPPS State Championship Number Sense contest.  Going volunteers with the Girl Scouts, the First United Methodist Youth Group, the National Charity League, and the Lubbock Symphony Guild Debutante Program as well as participates in the school’s community service projects, which includes Toys for Tots, Earth Day Clean-Up project, Lubbock Hospice Christmas Party, United Way, South Plains Food Bank, and Lubbock Impact.  She participated in the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Lyle School of Engineering Summer Program last summer.  Going enrolled in All Saints her freshman year.  She is the daughter of Mr. Scott Going and Mrs. Robin Going.
“Colten [Cannon], Natalie [Chaudhuri], and Sarah [Going] are so deserving of this honor,” All Saints High School Counselor Gwen Belk said. “They are exceptional young people who possess extraordinary skills.  We are so very proud of their achievements.”

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level.  The students advancing in the competition will be notified in February.  All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

The 2018 National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.  These scholarship recipients will join more than 330,000 other Merit Scholars awarded in the program’s 63 years.

More than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT® receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended Students are named on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year and is typically below the level required for participants to be named Semifinalists in their respective states. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 420 business organizations and higher education institutes that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

(News release from All Saints High School)

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