Four students at St. Charles Preparatory School were named as 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists.
They are: Tyler McMaken, son of Joanne and Phillip McMacken of Grove City; Ryan Meder, son Tim and Kristin Meder of Westerville; Sean Prendergast, son of Michael and Tracy Prendergast of Pataskala; and Alexander Ward, son of Thomas Ward and Susan Oakes, both of Columbus.
These students qualified for the National Merit Scholarship program based on their scores on the Pre-Scholastic Aptitude/National Merit Qualifying Test they took last year as juniors. Of the more than 1.5 million students took the test, only 16,000 were named semifinalists. They are now competing with students nationwide for National Merit Scholarships totaling more than $35 million.
McMaken is a member of the St. Charles Jazz Band, In the Know Team, Engineering Team and the National Honor Society. He plays the organ for St. Charles liturgies, the piano at nursing homes and volunteered at COSI presenting science shows and demonstrations for four years. He plans to pursue degrees in physics and mathematics and minor in music. He plans to apply to Northwestern University, MIT and Cornell University.
Meder is an editor for the school's student newspaper, the Carolian, in addition to participating as a member of the Engineering Team and the National Honor Society. He has volunteered at the Westerville Area Resource Ministry, St. Lawrence Haven food pantry and as a tutor at All-Saints Academy. He plans to study chemical or biomedical engineering and is looking to attend either the University of Notre Dame, Vanderbilt University; Case Western Reserve University or the University of Dayton.
Prendergast is a member of the Engineering Team, plays CYO basketball and is on the school's cross country and track and field teams. He has volunteered at the Muscular Dystrophy summer camp and at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. He plans to study biology or chemistry and is applying to the United States Air Force Academy, the Colorado School of Mines and the University of Alabama.
Ward is a member of the National Honor Society and a four-year member of the school's hockey team which elected him its 2012-2013 MVP. He has plans to study chemistry in college at an undergraduate level and eventually become an orthopedic surgeon. Ward is applying to Ohio State University, Cornell University, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and Boston College.