Multiple Shattuck-St. Mary’s Seniors Named National Merit Commended Students

September 24, 2020


Four of this year’s seniors have been named National Merit Commended students by the National Merit® Scholarship Program.

This prestigious recognition is based on student’s performance on the PSAT exam last fall in October 2019. Joonmyeong (DJ) Kim, Dung (Dennis) Le, Jonathan Preston, and Zihan (James) Wang scored in the top 3 percent of the 1.5 million students who took the PSAT last year. DJ and Dennis are returning students to our BioScience Center of Excellence, from the Republic of Korea and Vietnam respectively. Jonathan is a returning Boys Soccer Center of Excellence student from Tennessee, and James is a returning all-around student from China.

“It’s exciting to see these students recognized for their academic focus and hard work,” said Meg Otten, Director of College Counseling. “It’s also fun to get to know them beyond their test scores.”

Commended students are recognized for the exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the qualifying test used for program entry. Overall, 34,000 students out of 1.5 million are awarded National Merit Commended status, a very significant accomplishment given the national nature of the competition. These four seniors are the first at SSM to achieve this milestone since 2016, when Sean Dunlop ’16 was awarded the honor.

“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 success,” commented a spokesperson for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which conducts the scholarship program each year.

In a normal year, we would celebrate our new National Merit Commended students in an all-school assembly. However, this is no normal year. We hope you’ll join us in wishing these students a very hearty congratulations on this amazing academic accomplishment.

  • Joonmyeong (DJ) Kim, Dung (Dennis) Le, Jonathan Preston, and Zihan (James) Wang