From Harford County Public Schools:
The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) recently announced the finalists for the 2009-10 Maryland Distinguished Scholar Award, which include three students from Harford County Public Schools (HCPS).
The finalists from HCPS are Alex Hutcheson, senior at C. Milton Wright High School; Drew Thatcher, senior at C. Milton Wright High School; and Jacob Silverman, senior at Patterson Mill High School. Both Mr. Hutcheson and Mr. Thatcher were recognized for the achievement category, while Mr. Silverman earned his award in the talent category for instrumental music.
Furthermore, 17 Harford students were selected as semi-finalists this year for the Distinguished Scholar award in the achievement category, three were named semi-finalists in the talent category and 201 students and 22 students earned an honorable mention for the achievement and talent categories, respectively.
In addition, the National Merit Scholarship Program announced the nation’s 2010 semi-finalists, including three students from HCPS. These three students are Carlos Arguero, senior at Aberdeen High School; Conner Morrison, senior at Aberdeen High School; and Alex Hutcheson, senior at C. Milton Wright High School, who was also a finalist for the Maryland Distinguished Scholar Program as previously noted. Twenty-three additional students achieved commendation in the National Merit Program.
Similarly, three Harford students were recognized as outstanding participants referred to colleges in the National Achievement Scholarship Program.
“We are extremely pleased with the recognition our students have earned through the Maryland Distinguished Scholar Program and the National Merit/Achievement Scholarship Program this year,” said Roger Plunkett, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. “The hard work of each one of these students, as well as their teachers and parents, is exemplified through these awards.”
All five of Harford County’s Maryland Distinguished Scholar Program finalists and National Merit Scholarship Program semi-finalists will be recognized at a Board of Education meeting on Monday, November 23rd for their achievements. Click here for the full list of National Merit/Achievement Program semi-finalists and commended students. Click here for the full list of Maryland Distinguished Scholar Program finalists and semifinalists.”
The Maryland Distinguished Scholar Program honors Maryland high school juniors for superior academic achievement, for exceptional talent in the arts, or for achieving finalist status in the National Merit/National Achievement Scholarship Program. Students earning Distinguished Scholar Program Scholarships are those who are attending Maryland colleges or universities. The award amount is $3,000 per year and is renewable three times for a total value of $12,000. Three hundred fifty new scholarships are awarded annually to Maryland residents.
Students are selected for the Distinguished Scholar award after meeting several criteria. High school guidance offices distribute applications/nomination forms for the Maryland Distinguished Scholar Program to Maryland juniors in their fifth semester of high school.
Completed forms and documentation of academic credentials are sent to MHEC’s Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) by the March deadline.
In the academic achievement category, students are evaluated on two scales: by their cumulative unweighted grade point average (GPA) in academic courses and by their SAT, PSAT or ACT scores. Students are then selected in rank order and identified as Maryland Distinguished Scholar finalists, semifinalists or honorable mention students. Students considered for the talent in the arts category for areas in visual art, instrumental or
vocal music, dance or drama must audition or undergo a portfolio review before a panel of professional judges.
For more information on the Maryland Distinguished Scholars Program, visit www.mhec.state.md.us.
The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) – a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year – and by meeting published program entry/participation requirements. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U. S. high school seniors, includes the highest entrants in each state. Mr. Arguero, Mr. Morrison and Mr. Hutcheson will move on to compete for the title of finalist in this program. The finalists for this year’s National Merit Scholarship Program will be announced in February 2010. For details, visit www.nationalmerit.org.
The National Achievement® Scholarship Program is an academic competition established in 1964 to provide recognition for outstanding Black American high school students. Black students may enter both the National Achievement Program and the National Merit® Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) and meeting other published requirements for participation.
This is pretty terrible that HCPS only has three national merit semi-finalists. To get NMSF, you have to get a PSAT score of over 221 in Maryland. The entire county only had 3 NMSF’s, while Montgomery County had over 100 and Howard County had ~50. Montgomery Blair HS in MoCo had 53 semi-finalists. This just shows the state of HCPS schools in comparison to other schools districts.
You also named two counties that invest far more money in education then Harford County. Next up how much greater is the population in Moco then here?
Not from Here says
My daughter was NMF last year. We live in Harford County but sent her out of county for high school. Don’t underestimate the brain drain going on because people who can take their kids out of public school.
Howard and Montgomery County doesn’t force their students to take Living in a Contemporary World either. Both of those counties are either on a 7 period schedule or have different schedules depending on the school and they seem to be performing better than Harford County. That is just one issue. Or maybe it is as suggested today that the reason Maryland schools do so well is because of the education and affluence of many of the parents in Maryland.
If it was all about the money CDEV, Baltimore City and Prince Georges would be at the top of the list too.
Money only does so much. Our total population demographics as far as SEO and home situation are much more like howard and Moco not PG and Baltimore City. But money has something to do with it. Also does Harford county force every 11th grader to take the PSAT? I believe Montgomery does!
Cdev, yes, every 11th grader takes the PSAT in school. The county pays for it. I’m not sure about special ed. students.
THS '78 says
Over in Baltimore County, Towson High School had 7 and Dulaney had 3 semi-finalists. I don’t think they spend that much more than we do. It’s not just about the money.
Are you kidding? Baltimore county is way ahead of us in per pupil spending!
We used to live in suburban St. Louis. Starting Teacher salary $38,000 a year. They had 23 merit semi-finalists this year. The district has 22,000 students. It’s not about money, it’s about what your school district is doing to educate it’s brightest students. HCPS does little in elementary school and nothing in middle or high school. They shouldn’t be surprised when we seek greener pastures. Yes, there were other Merit Semi-finalists from Harford County, they just go to Private school.
Jacob Silverman says
I just would like to say that harford county public schools had nothing to do with me receiving the award for talent in the arts. Come to think of it if my developement as a musician and artist were left in their hands I would have quit along time ago. I only ever faced mockery and humiliation from the music department of harford county and they deserve absolutely no credit for my hard work and dedication