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Sunday, September 21, 2014
OHS teens named merit semifinalists
(Page 2 of 2)
Courtesy Oceanside schools
The three OHS seniors who earned semifinalist status in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship process are, from left, Brittany Kwait, Marissa Colasacco and Stephanie Nagel. They are pictured with new Oceanside High School Principal Geraldine DeCarlo.

She said that her parents were proud of her for doing so well on the test. “They say, ‘Where did you come from?’ to me,” she said with a laugh.

On the “real” SAT, which she took during her senior year, she scored a perfect 800 on the math section. “It all comes naturally to me,” she said.

Kwait also said she wasn’t surprised by her score on the test, a 226. “When the college board called me to tell me, I wasn’t surprised at all,” she said. “I thought the math part was pretty easy.”

Kwait achieved a perfect score of 2,400 later on the SATs.

She plans to attend Duke, Harvard or John Hopkins as a pre-med major, and go into either medicine or research. “I know it’s a long journey,” she said, “but I’m really excited to make it.”

She does community service work and is editor in chief of the school’s newspaper as well as a dancer, having taken lessons for years.

According to National Merit Scholarship officials, some 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2012 qualifying test. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

To become finalists, semifinalists and their high schools must submit detailed scholarship applications, on which they provide information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards they have received. A finalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm his or her performance on the qualifying test.

Finalists will be notified early in 2014.

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