NEW PALTZ – Two New Paltz High School seniors—Jaden Thomas-Markarianand Emily Y. Wong-Pan—have been named Commended Students in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. They are being honored for their strong academic promise, as demonstrated by their performance on the qualifying test used for program entry.
The New Paltz seniors were among the more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2020 competition by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) last October. They placed among the top 50,000 scorers.
Although the New Paltz students will not continue in the 2020 competition for National Merit Scholarship Awards, they will be receiving a Letter of Commendation from the school and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which conducts the program. This year, approximately 34,000 test-takers throughout the nation were designated as Commended Students.
Jaden, the son Marylinn Markarian and Lowell Thomas of New Paltz, is on the school’s Track and Mathletes teams. Outside of school, he enjoys skateboarding and playing the piano. He plans to major in Pure Mathematics in college, and is considering minoring in Computer Science.
Emily is the daughter of Laura and Ray Wong-Pan of Gardiner. A member of the Varsity Tennis team, she plays French horn in the school band. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano.
New Paltz High School Principal Mario Fernandez praised the accomplishments of the two honorees. “Jaden and Emily are both superb students and valuable members of the New Paltz school community,” he said. “We are extremely proud of them, and wish them well as they continue their educational journeys.”