Seniors honored as National Merit Commended Students


Susie Burgess

Principal Carrie Cope and Counselors Dave Vigneault and John Hill congratulate (from left) Madison Johnson, Megan Small and Isabel Kidner.

Accomplished Burroughs seniors Madison Johnson, Isabel Kidner, and Megan Small have another accomplishment to add to their college applications. 

On Thursday, Principal Carrie Cope announced that the three were named Commended Students in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. 

“I am very proud of these girls,” said Cope. “I have known all three of them for years.  They are very smart and hardworking students, dedicated to learning and school.  Receiving the National Merit Scholarship Commendation Award is an honor.”

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise with this award. Although they will not continue in the 2022 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 students who entered the 2022 competition by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). According to the College Board, around 5 million students took the PSAT/NMSQT last year. 

“Those being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for the National Merit program. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.

Each senior is firmly entrenched in the college application process. Johnson is planning to attend a four-year university or service academy, with the United States Military Academy West Point at the top of her list. She hopes to major in biology and continue on to graduate school to become a doctor. 

Small plans to attend a four-year university, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business. After that, she will be looking for a job that is interesting and that she enjoys.

Kidner is applying to CSU Monterey Bay, UC Riverside, UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz, and Rochester Institute of Technology. She plans to go into communications design or industrial design (product design).

The three offered several study tips. 

“Go over the booklet that comes with the PSAT registration if you have the time to get a sense of what the questions are like,” said Kidner. “Khan Academy has study resources for the SAT that can probably be applied to the PSAT if you want more practice on specific subjects.”

Other recommended resources include College Panda SAT Math and Mike and Patrick Barrett’s SAT Blackbook for the English section

Small and Johnson both emphasized getting the timing down for the test. 

“If you want to study, find resources that work for you but be sure to be smart about your studying so that you don’t overdo it,” said Small. “Learn the length of the test and the time you have to complete each section. This will be helpful when you get in the testing room.”

Head Counselor Dave Vigneault praised the students for their success. 

“These students and their families should be proud of their academic achievements,” said Vigneault. “Each year, we are lucky to have one National Merit Semi-finalist.  Though we do not have a semi-finalist this year, it’s impressive how well our current seniors performed last year. It’s most impressive to me that the class as a whole did so well under harsh conditions due to COVID and distance learning, and Burroughs students claimed three acknowledgments out of 16,000 nationwide.”  

This year’s PSAT/MNSQT will be offered at Burroughs on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 8 am. The PSAT/NMSQT measures what students learn in school, determines if students are on track for college success, and opens doors for opportunities to prepare and pay for college. 

Priority registration for juniors is currently underway, and sophomore registration begins Monday, Sept. 27. All registration closes on Friday, Oct. 8. 

Students may sign up and pay either online at the BHS Online Store or at the BHS Finance Office (located next to the event windows by N-Hall and the Library). Exam registration costs $20. 

For additional information, students or parents may contact Asst. Principal Chris Ostermann at [email protected].