The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has recognized three Quakertown Community High School seniors in its prestigious program for 2021.
Michael Dennis is a semifinalist while Matt Catalano and Veronika Durr each received a Letter of Commendation. Each student is recognized for their outstanding performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test in 2019.
Michael is one of 16,000 semifinalists out of 1.5 million students who entered the program. His 1480 score on the PSAT, is achieved by fewer than one percent of today’s U.S. high school seniors. Matt scored 1,450 on the PSAT while Veronika scored a 1,430. The 50,000 highest scorers — the top 3 percent — are being recognized.
Michael has an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for an award, Michael must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level. More than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.
“I congratulate each of our students for their achievements and determination,” Principal Mattias van’t Hoenderdaal said. “They are bright young people who challenge themselves with rigorous coursework while staying involved in the school community. This recognition is a well-deserved validation of their efforts.”
A member of the track team, where he throws the discus and shot put, Michael is also a member of the National Honors Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Math Club and Technology Student Association.
Michael has already taken eight Advanced Placement courses, and is scheduled for four more this year: Calculus BC, Statistics, Government and English Literature. His AP grades have helped boost his GPA to 4.11.
Matt, a point guard on the basketball team, and Veronika, a member of the Marching Band’s Color Guard, have taken advantage of the 32 Advanced Placement courses available at the high school. Their schedules are loaded with five AP classes each. Both are taking U.S. Government and English Literature. Matt also includes Computer Science, Physics C and Statistics. Veronika has Biology, Calculus BC and Chemistry.
Besides their course load, Matt and Veronika are heavily involved in after-school activities. Besides Marching Band, Veronika belongs to the Key Club and Math Club. Matt is president of the Key Club and National Honors Society and a member of Student Council.