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Highlands School Students Excel in National and City Academic Competitions
A senior was recognized as a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program, and two 8th graders won first place trophies in diocesan-wide speech competitions.

Molly Miller, a senior at The Highlands School.

Irving, Texas (February 13, 2009) — The Highlands School is proud to recognize the outstanding academic achievements of Molly Miller, a senior, and Alex Venegas and Lucy Bray, both 8th graders.

National Merit Scholarship Finalist

Highlands senior Molly Miller is being recognized as a finalist by the National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSP) for her achievement on the PSAT test taken during her junior year. More than one million students nationwide took the PSAT in the fall of 2007, but only 15,000 (1.5%) of those students achieve the level of finalists. Those 15,000 finalists are now competing for 8,200 merit scholarships. The scholarship winners will be announced next month. 

In reaction to the news, Molly said, “I am very excited about the award, and I appreciate all of my teachers’ hard work.” In her past seven years at The Highlands School, she has been a National Latin Exam Gold Medalist for three consecutive years, a Model UN Outstanding Delegate, and won awards for leadership, Latin, drama, history, music, and mathematics.  Additionally, she has published an article on the National Catholic Exchange website.

In early September, about 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, were notified that they qualified as Semifinalists. To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist must maintain an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying PSAT test. 

Three types of National Merit Scholarship awards will be offered in the spring of 2009.  Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state representational basis.  About 1,100 corporate-sponsored scholarships will be provided by some 300 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria.  In addition, approximately 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,600 college sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

First Place Trophies in Dallas Diocesan Speech Tournament

Two Highlands students received first place trophies and a “Perfect Score” at the Dallas Diocesan Speech Tournament held  February 7th at
highlands 8th graders
Alex Venegas and Lucy Bray won first place trophies in their respective categories.
Bishop Dunne. 

Lucy Bray won first place for her original oration and Alex Venegas won first place for his prose selection.  Both eighth graders are consistent Honor Roll students and are actively involved in service at The Highlands. 

Speech teacher, Patricia Bieger, said the students “are very committed to coming to practice and work very hard. They definitely deserved their scores last week.” 

Diocesan speech tournaments are open to all of the middle schools in the diocese, sixth through eighth grades, and are held on a rotating schedule four times a school year. The Highlands School has several students competing, and will be hosting the last round of this inter-Catholic schools competition on April 4th. 

About The Highlands School

Established in 1986, The Highlands School is a Catholic college-preparatory school using the method of integral formation developed by the Legionaries of Christ.  Offering grades Pre-K through 12th, the mission of The Highlands School is the development of the whole person, consisting of a profound intellectual, human, and spiritual formation.  Personalized attention from faculty, staff, and religious provides each student with the maximum opportunity for growth.



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