Smithson Valley High seniors: (Back Row, L-R) Micah Bruning, Jack Coonrod, Lucas Stewart and Jerry Fang. Middle Row: Joshua Martinez, Alec Michel, Diego Cervantes and Eric Dingus. Front Row: Veronica Hernandez, Blake Halford, Ben Hanscom and MacKenzie Foley, were named either National Merit Commended or earned National Hispanic Recognition.
Twenty Comal ISD Students Earn Honors
Submitted By Jason Gordon
Comal ISD continues to produce some of the nation’s top academic performers. This school year, the district is proud to announce two students were named National Merit Semifinalists, seven more were named National Merit Commended students, and a record-tying 11 Comal ISD students earned distinction in the National Hispanic Recognition program.
Smithson Valley High’s Jerry Fang and Ben Hanscom all received the prestigious honor of being named National Merit Semifinalists.
Of more than 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools who took the Pre-SAT test in 2016, only 16,000 were named National Merit Semifinalists. Of the 16,000 semifinalists, 15,000 students will be named National Merit Finalists in February. Half of those students will be selected as Merit Scholarship winners, earning the Merit Scholar title.
Fang and Hanscom have a chance to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Bill Gates, a National Merit Scholarship winner in 1973. National Merit Finalists have the opportunity to earn individual scholarships from many corporations, colleges and universities around the nation.
“It’s such an honor to be able to share this with so many of my classmates,” Hanscom said. “We’ve always taken pride in being a high-achieving and competitive group and I think we have great potential for future accomplishments.”
About 34,000 commended students throughout the nation were recognized as National Merit Commended students. Although they will not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, the commended students placed among the top 5 percent nationwide.
Canyon High’s commended students are Jacob Dussere, Kaylee White and Kristina Yu. Smithson Valley High’s commended students are Micah Bruning, Lucas Stewart, Joshua Martinez and Eric Dingas.
“A student recognized by the National Merit Program has earned a distinctive mark of academic excellence,” said National Merit spokesperson Matt Budreau. “This is an honor that will stay with them the rest of their lives.”
Eleven Comal ISD students earned distinction in National Hispanic Recognition program, matching the district’s record-number total first achieved last school year.
The College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition program is an honor in which students have to meet certain academic criteria. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale and must achieve the minimum required Pre-SAT Selection Index score (which can vary each school year).
Canyon Lake High student Erin Dorman, Smithson Valley High students Diego Cervantes, Joshua Martinez, Blake Halford, MacKenzie Foley, Jack Coonrod, Veronica