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Lebanon students named National Merit Scholars

By Kimberly Jordan kjordan@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:25 PM

Three Lebanon High School students were recently named National Merit Scholars. 

Aaron Kintzler, Jack McCray and Ryann Hallums were selected as finalists in the program. Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship program are eligible for a $2,500 scholarship.

The National Merit Scholarship website indicates several criteria to be considered for a scholarship.

“All winners of Merit Scholarship awards (Merit Scholar designees) are chosen from the finalist group, based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments–without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. A variety of information is available for NMSC selectors to evaluate: the finalist’s academic record, information about the school’s curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official’s written recommendation, information about the student’s activities and leadership and the finalist’s own essay.”

When the students were notified, each of them had different emotions regarding their selection.

“I felt surprised,” said Kintzler. “I didn’t think the test went as well as it did.” He said he found out he was chosen during his English class. 

“I was about to give a speech - and I was glad I got called out,” said Kintzler.

McCray said he was also surprised.

“I was shocked,” said McCray. “I honestly didn’t think I could make the first cut. I found out one morning when Ms. [Marie] Papini pulled me out of class.”

“When Ms. Papini told us last week I was honored and excited,” said Hallums. “I really wanted it after receiving our scores and national percentages.”

Both Kintzler and Hallums said they want to major in engineering when they get to college. Kintzler said he hopes to attend Georgia Tech. Hallums said she is considering aeronautical engineering and building planes.

McCray said he is still trying to pin down what his major will be, but he is “considering something in computer science or programming.” He is also undecided on a college at this point.

Hallums said, “I’ve received letters from many schools, including Ivy league, but no decisions yet.”

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