Local students named semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship

Several students from Eastern Jackson County are among the 16,000 nationwide named as semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.

These students will continue in the competition for approximately 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be awarded next spring.

Blue Springs South High School had four semifinalists, Blue Springs High School had two, and Fort Osage High School had one.

Evan Cook, Henry Cooper, Megan Curry and John Layland of Blue Springs South were named, along with Matthew Dygert and Wilson Miller of Blue Springs and Aleesa Hill of Fort Osage.

To become a finalist, semifinalists must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards received. Semifinalists must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Another student, Katherine Brown of Independence, who attends Pembroke Hill School, was recognized recently as a National Merit Commended Student. She was one of 34,000 of the 1.5 million students who took the PSAT who was designated as commended.


Lee’s Summit student named resident assistant at Southern Arkansas

Kathryn Cooper of Lee’s Summit was recently selected as a resident assistant and assigned to Greene Hall for the 2019-20 academic year at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas.

Cooper is a senior pre-health professional biochemistry major and a graduate of Blue Springs South High School.

Resident assistants are student leaders and representatives for Southern Arkansas University's Department of Housing. RAs are responsible for a wide range of duties including serving the SAU resident community as a peer counselor and assisting their Resident Director in maintaining overall management and monitoring of their residence hall.

– Compiled by Karl Zinke