Standing out from the crowd

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By The Staff

Los Alamos High School students Dov Shlachter, Shaina Riciputi, Jamie Resnick, Kendra Smale, Kathy Lin and Emma Carroll stand out from the crowd. Not just on the local scene but also on a national level.


This group of seniors are finalists for the National Merit Scholarship Program. This distinction allows them the chance to compete for a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship, to be awarded a corporate-sponsored scholarship or to earn a college-sponsored scholarship.

Nora Arbuckle of the LAHS career resource center explained that the students became semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship after they received their preliminary SAT scores, which were some of the highest in the nation.  The preliminary SAT is the National Merit Scholarship qualifying test, a press release reports.

To proceed to finalist status, the students had to have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed by the principal and earn SAT scores that confirmed the students’ performance on the preliminary test, according to the press release.

Additionally, a scholarship application must be submitted.

By successfully completing this procedure, Arbuckle said the LAHS students have made a great achievement. It’s an “honor that makes them stand out when they go to college,” she said.

The National Merit Scholarship program did not just shine the spotlight on Shlachter, Riciputi, Resnick, Smale, Lin and Carroll. Arbuckle said LAHS students Ryan Marcus and Alenna Matteson received the National Hispanic Recognition Award through the same program.

The scholarship program is a nonprofit organization that was established in 1955, the press release states. The goal of the organization is to honor the nation’s scholastic high school stars and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence. This year, the program recognized 16,000 high school students as semifinalists, and about 15,000 finalists will be named.