Pope John student named scholarship semifinalist

Five other students are commended


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  • Pope John XXIII Regional High School senior Caroline Morris is a National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist this year. Photo by Anthony Spaulding/Director of Communications, Pope John XXIII Regional High School



— Pope John XXIII Regional High School senior Caroline Morris has been recognized as a 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist and five other students have been named Commended Students in the program.

Morris is one of approximately 16,000 semifinalists competing to become a finalist for the title of Merit Scholar, as announced by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Following Morris, David Dietz, Keith Johnson, Trevor Potts, Adriana Purcell and Griffin Selling are Pope John’s Commended Students for the program.

“I’m really happy about it,” Morris said. “I’ve studied and put in a lot of work to earn this. I’m proud of myself.”

“We are thrilled to find out that she is a National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist,” Pope John XXIII Regional High School President and Principal Father McHugh said. “We are very thankful for her intelligence that she has brought to the academic scene here. She is an ‘Honor to the Father.’”

Morris earned her semifinal spot after competing in a pool of 1.6 million juniors across the country by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and scoring one of the highest marks in New Jersey. The number of semifinalists in a state “is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors,” according to NMSC.

Morris has started the next step toward becoming a finalist. To become a finalist, NMSC said Morris and Pope John “must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about Morris’ academic record, participation in school and community events, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.”

Morris has an impressive resume to date.

She has a GPA of 4.17 and has taken 11 AP courses to date.

Morris has also played volleyball, ice hockey and girls lacrosse for Pope John. In addition, she has volunteered at Skylands Ice World as a referee for hockey and has been a youth coach for the sport.

As far as awards, she has earned Distinguished Honors, the SAT 1400 club award, an AP World History award and an AP English Literature award.

Morris hopes her credentials can also get her into either Georgia Tech or Rice University, where she would like to study biomedical engineering and hopefully work in developing prosthetics.

As for Dietz, Johnson, Potts, Purcell and Selling, they were among approximately 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation who were recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2018 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers in the pool of 1.6 million juniors.

“We are also extremely proud of our Commended Students,” Father McHugh said. “They have done wonderful things for our school.”

Attached photo caption: Photo by Anthony Spaulding/Director of Communications, Pope John XXIII Regional High School — Pope John XXIII Regional High School senior Caroline Morris is a National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist this year.

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