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Park City High School Claims Three Merit Scholar Semi-Finalists


Three Park City Seniors have achieved recognition as Merit Scholarship Semi Finalists. The recognition is for High School Juniors performing in the top 1 Percent in the state on the PSAT. Carolyn Murray has this:

7500-Merit Scholarship Finalists will be selected out of the 16,000 students who scored in the top 1 percent on the PSAT.  Nearly 4.3 million high school students took the standardized achievement test last year. Many take it with the intention to practice for the official SAT which is sometimes needed for college acceptance. The next step for the semi-finalists is to submit a comprehensive application to the nonprofit National Merit Scholarship Corp.

Senior Cameron Stevens said he did a little bit of preparation but sitting for the PSAT last year was the first time he was exposed to the test. He has been in the Park City School District since first grade at Trailside Elementary School.

“So, just for the semi-finalist part, all you had to do was score in the top 1 percent in the state.  So, in order to get where we are now, all we had to do was do really well on a test. At this point now, to get finalist, it’s a bit more a holistic application. You have extra curriculars. You have transcripts. You have to be endorsed by your high school principal, which I assume won’t be a problem. It’s kind of a bigger view. We have to write an essay which is more similar to a college application.”

Park City High School Senior, Harrison Paas isn’t sure what he’s going to study in college. He said he’s comfortable with his Math skills and that Language Arts was a bigger challenge.

“I took practice tests before this PSAT so I could improve my language arts score. That was really the most important part for me being able to get the language arts up enough to be able to qualify for this. I mean I didn’t really expect to get this…I mean I thought I had a chance but I thought my math skills were good enough and if I work enough o this English, I might be able to do it.”

Harrison has a long list of extra activities he will submit with the finalist application.

“I run Cross country and track. Those are my main focuses within the school area but not like academics. I’m also a member of the National Honor Society. It’s sort of an unusual position. I volunteer at a Physics Lab at the University of Utah.”

Cameron has a full schedule of academic and athletic pursuits.

“I’m involved in quite a few different things. I was on the Ethics Bowl team last year.  I’m on the Debate team this year as well. So, both are speech events. I was part of FBLA…Future Business Leaders of America and competed in that last year. I did well. I also play soccer and I’m also on the Crew team.”

Dennis Rothwell is the third semi-finalist who is a senior at Park City High School. He was not available for an interview.

The deadline for the application is October 10th and the selection of the National Merit Scholarship Finalists will be in 2019.