Three Seniors Receive National Merit Scholarship Award


Madeline Jaloszynski, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Three of Notre Dame Academy’s seniors–Claire Edgar, Zach Kellner and Ava Griffitt– all received the National Merit Scholarship Award.

Edgar had been aware of the NMSC competition through siblings who were involved in it, so it was just something she planned to do.

“I was really surprised to receive this award, and I didn’t even expect to become a semifinalist. I don’t think I’m the most qualified person for this award among my peers, but I think it shows what I am capable of and and inspires me to live up to the highest standard of understanding and achievement,” she said.

Edgar is applying for university-specific scholarships but not any other independent scholarships.

NMSC provides an extra $2,500 to her first choice college or university, and it also helps set her apart among college applicants to make her more attractive to schools.

Edgar plans to concentrate her studies on physics and biology and hopefully enter the medical field.   

Edgar is excited to explore a new place and potentially live somewhere warm. She is also looking forward to making new friends and discovering more about the subject areas she loves. Also, she is excited to play tennis and pick up new activities and sports.

Edgar had to submit an essay to move up from being a semi-finalist to finalist, and the most prominent features of her resume, recommendations, her high school transcript and her SAT scores all had to reflect the level of ability indicated by her PSAT score.

Both of Edgar’s parents are very proud of her and excited to see what her future holds.

“I haven’t picked a school yet, but I have several large scholarships to choose from. Once I hear back from the rest of the schools I’ve applied to, I’ll probably pick the school that offers the most money,” she said.

Zach Kellner became aware of this award from his aunt. He was pondering whether or not he should sign up for the PSAT.

The award often looks good on resumes for college and graduate education. Some colleges automatically give scholarships for receiving the award.

Kellner plans to apply for other scholarships on top of receiving this award. The scholarships mostly depend on what college he plans to attend. This is his main universal-type scholarship.

“I honestly do not know where I will attend yet. I have gotten into all of my medium-tier and lower-tier schools but will not hear back from many of my reach schools as to whether I have been admitted until late March,” he said.

Kellner is looking forward to more freedom in college.

“I will be able to structure my day more, wear clothes that fit me better, skip lectures and study more physics. I would also appreciate being in a bigger city with more cultural diversity,” he added.

Ava Griffitt became aware of the award her junior year after taking the PSAT. Her score was high enough to qualify in the competition.

Half of the people who receive this award get a scholarship directly from the National Merit Foundation.

Griffitt plans to apply for more scholarships and has decided on the University of Utah in Salt Lake City for her undergraduate work.  Like the other two semi-finalists, she too is looking forward to getting away from Green Bay and being in a new environment.

English teacher Carolyn Brown, who has taught all three of the National Merit Award winners, said, “I wasn’t surprised in the least that they were National Merit Scholars.  Ava, Zach and Claire are outstanding students who love to learn. There’s no challenge too daunting for them.”