A Brilliant Dozen: 12 DMPS Seniors Recognized as Commended Students by National Merit Program

Twelve Des Moines high school seniors have been named Commended Students in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship program. This recognition means these students are among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT) last year.

The National Merit Commended Students from Des Moines are:

  • Kirsten Benson, Roosevelt
  • Henry Fender, Roosevelt
  • Rivkah Gardner-Frolick, Roosevelt
  • Jennifer Hugg, Roosevelt
  • William Karr, Roosevelt
  • Sofia Kaut, Roosevelt
  • Matthew Lippold, Lincoln
  • Alex Lopez, North
  • Dmitri McDonald, Roosevelt
  • Samuel Norland, Roosevelt
  • Benjamin Sides, Lincoln
  • August Stangl III, East 

“These young people recognized as Commended Students by the National Merit program represent some of the best and brightest minds from our district and across the nation,” said interim Superintendent Tom Ahart. “This recognition will present them with additional educational opportunities and motivate them in their future academic pursuits.”

Last month, nine DMPS students were named as semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition. Those students are: Jillian Brown (Roosevelt), Daniel Comito (Roosevelt), Ashley De Haan (East), Karina Foster-Middleton (Roosevelt), Crystal Hou (Roosevelt), Nathan Leys (Roosevelt), James “Luke” Sheeley (Roosevelt), John Shumway (Roosevelt), and Seth Van Helten (East).

These nine semi-finalists are now eligible to receive college scholarships of at least $2,500 from the National Merit Scholarship organization or their corporate sponsors. Scholarship recipients will be announced next April. Of the 1.5 million students who take the PSAT, only about 16,000 enter the Semifinalist level of the competition and approximately 15,000 are recognized as Finalists.