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updated: 2/8/2011 10:38 AM

St. Viator proud of its 15 Commended Scholars

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St. Viator High School officials learned this week that 15 students, nearly four times as many as last year, had been named Commended Students by the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program.

They are: Jennifer Ball of Wheeling; John Cooley and Erin O'Connell of Palatine; Nick Baur, Danielle Di Silvestro, Katherine Maul and Gregory Perkowski of Inverness; Andrew Hayes of Mount Prospect; William Holsworth of Barrington; John Kim of Bartlett; Elizabeth Freda, Anthony Pensa and Kevin Young of Arlington Heights; Rachel Ruddick of Des Plaines; and Edward Zahrebelski of Hoffman Estates.

These come on top of the two National Merit semifinalists from Saint Viator High School, Peter Cleary of Arlington Heights and Robert Moynihan of Schaumburg, named earlier this month.

"This is an extremely bright group," says Principal Eileen Manno. "We are in our second year of offering the PSAT prep course, but I think it speaks to the rigorous curriculum and the efforts of our teachers - every day, every year." 

Nationally, Commended Students represent the top 5 percent of the more than 1.5 million students who enter the 2011 competition by taking the Preliminary SAT, which is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship.

Although they cannot advance in competition for National Merit Scholarships, Commended Students represent some of the most academically talented students in the country, say officials with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Each student will receive a letter of commendation from St. Viator, as well as the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which they hope will enhance their educational opportunities as they pursue academic success.