Scholarship Program Commends Two Students

NEWBURGH – Esteban Speedling and Kathryn Tram were recently named Commended Students in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. Commended Students are recognized for the exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the qualifying test used for program entry. Both students attend Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus.

Esteban Speedling attended Fostertown Elementary School and South Middle School. At Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus, Esteban has been involved in JROTC and participates in volunteer opportunities with them. After graduation, Esteban plans to study engineering in college. Esteban’s future career plans are to be an engineer and work in the aerospace industry. Esteban names math and computer science as his favorite subjects in school.

Kathryn Tam attended Balmville Elementary and Leptondale Christian Academy. While attending Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus, Kathryn has been a sound technician for the school musical. Kathryn also plays bass and keyboard in a couple of bands outside of school. After graduating, Kathryn plans on attending college and pursuing a career in graphic design, or something with an art-related focus. Kathryn likes all schools subjects fairly equally, but would choose Physics if identifying a favorite.

In late September, more than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT® receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended Students are named on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year and is typically below the level required for participants to be named Semifinalists in their respective states. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit® Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

“Those being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic excellence.”

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