EVANSTON, Ill. — The National Merit Scholarship Corp., of NMSC, announced on Monday the names of 2,500 distinguished high school seniors who have won National Merit $2,500 Scholarships. The Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a pool of approximately 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2009 National Merit Scholarship Program.
National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. They were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors. These scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.
NMSC is financing most of these single-payment National Merit $2500 Scholarships. Corporations and company foundations that sponsor awards through NMSC also help underwrite these scholarships with grants they provide in lieu of paying administrative fees.
All finalists competed for these awards. To select scholarship winners, a committee of educators appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by the finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay describing interests and goals; and the recommendation written by a high school official. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s high school graduating seniors.
National Merit Scholarship winners from Maine, their hometowns and their schools and any future plans are as follows:
Bethany L. Potter, Auburn, Cheverus H.S., Portland, probable career field: undecided; Cote A. Theriault, Bangor, Bangor H.S., probable career field: education; Margaret C. Hayden, Brunswick, Brunswick H.S., probable career field: health care; Jonathan G. Aronson, Cape Elizabeth, Cape Elizabeth H.S., probable career field: undecided; Michael S. Taintor, Cape Elizabeth, Cape Elizabeth H. S., probable career field: international relations; Haley L. Bennett, Cumberland Foreside, North Yarmouth Academy, Yarmouth, probable career field: education-performing arts; Cara P. Foley, Falmouth, Falmouth H.S., probable career field: international relations; Michael J. Jerome, Falmouth, Cheverus H.S., Portland, probable career field: business (insurance); Max I. Kagan, Freeport, Freeport H.S., probable career field: language (Arabic/Turkish); Brian J. Furey, Portland, Portland H.S., probable career field: law; Katherine A. Reynolds, Vassalboro, Erskine Academy, South China, probable career field: psychology; Rebecca A. Kibler, Yarmouth, Yarmouth H.S., probable career field: education.