The Edmond Sun

Local News

September 14, 2012

21 Edmond students are National Merit semifinalists

EDMOND — This week officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of 20 Edmond-area students and one home school student chosen among the about 16,000 semifinalists in the 58th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Edmond-area students who have been named semifinalists include the following schools and students:

Deer Creek High School — Stephen M. Dyer, Allison E. Mee, Casey E. Pattillo and Jacob A. Young.

“Deer Creek Public Schools is committed to providing high-quality curriculum and support to ensure that our students are ready to compete globally,” Super-

intendent Sean McDaniel said.

“Our strong Advanced Placement program continues to increase participation so that more students have access to college-level work in high school,” said Deer Creek Chief Academic Officer Cynthia Koss. “In May, 2012, 235 Deer Creek students took 341 AP exams, which is an increase from 146 students taking 233 exams in 2011, a 61 percent increase in number of students taking exams and a 46 percent increase in the total number of exams taken.”

Koss said students who score well on tests are a reflection of the job done by elementary and middle school teachers as well as high school teachers.

Edmond Memorial High School — Annah P. Baykal, Parker S. Cain, John P. Drake, Elisabeth A. Green, Christina H. Hagemeier, Daniel V. King, Meghan B. Rice, Joel D. Schimek, Jacqueline M. Visina and Madison L. White.

“At Edmond Memorial High School, we consider ourselves a community of learners; so when one of our community is recognized, we all celebrate,” said Memorial Principal Debbie Bendick. “The celebration has been particularly jubilant this year as the influence of this group of 10 students extends to almost every activity and special interest group in the school.

“Among the 10 is a bass player in the orchestra, a swimmer, choir members, an artist, a distance runner, journalists, mentors, actors; of course, they are all scholars.  Among the 10 of them, they have taken 87 Advanced Placement classes.”

Edmond Santa Fe High School — Jenny R. Ancik, Rashidul Esrar, Derek C. Knowles, Natalie Wilkinson and Julia D. Zhu.

Edmond North High School — Carrie E. Funderburk.

Home school — India Loyd.

In the Edmond schools 1,689 students took AP exams last May, up a little more than 5 percent from the previous year of 1,605 students, said Glenda Choate, educational services coordinator. Choate added 3,389 tests were taken compared to 3,196 tests the year before.

“The nature of an AP test is one that requires a student to do more than just respond on a knowledge or comprehension level,” Choate said. “They require students to use higher order thinking skills of application, analysis and evaluation. These higher levels of thinking will also be used in the testing that will come with the new CommonCore State Standards.”

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