Westerville News & Public Opinion

Four local seniors land National Merit scholarships

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Four Westerville students received National Merit Scholarships and Corporate-Sponsored National Merit Scholarships to assist in tuition for universities.

From a pool of more than 15,000 finalists, McKenna Davis from Westerville South High School and Meghan Wilson from Westerville Central High School both received a $2,500 scholarship from the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

Scholarship winners were selected based on academic record, including class difficulty level; standardized test scores; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; and a faculty recommendation.

Davis, daughter of Laurel and Malcolm Davis, was South's top student with a 4.7 GPA. She is on Academic Varsity, varsity lacrosse and tennis teams, and participated in the school's theater program.

Davis will attend Rhodes College this fall and signed a letter of intent to play lacrosse for the school. She will pursue dual degrees in physics and math.

Davis said she was happy when she got the news that she won the scholarship.

"Every little bit helps paying for college," Davis said. "It helps make the experience all the more affordable."

Wilson, daughter of Heidi and Andrew Wilson, was Central's top student with a GPA of 4.7. She was part of Vegetarian Club and National Honor Society, company member of North Pointe Dance, and an Interscholastic Equestrian Association team member.

Wilson said she was excited when she got word of the award.

"It will really help pay tuition fees that I have to pay for school," Wilson said. "I wasn't expecting to get it since only 8,000 students get it."

Wilson will attend Stanford University in the fall of 2015 and pursue a degree in International Relations. Starting this fall, she will be spending nine months in Oman studying Arabic with a National Security Language Initiative for Youth scholarship.

Two Westerville seniors attending private schools -- Claire Alexander from St. Francis DeSales High School and Ryan Meder from St. Charles Preparatory School -- received corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarships.

Corporate-Sponsored National Merit Scholarships are awarded to finalists of children of employees, residents within the company's service, or students who plan to pursue a degree or career that the company wants to support.

These awards can range from $500 to $10,000 in an annual stipend or a one-time payment between $2,500 and $5,000.

Alexander, daughter of Graham and Carol Alexander, received a $1,000 annual stipend from Battelle Memorial Institute.

"I was really excited. It's definitely a huge honor to me but to the school, too, I think," Alexander said.

She is one of the 16 valedictorians from DeSales' graduating class. She will graduate with a 4.3 cumulative GPA and will attend the University of Notre Dame with the Glenna R. Joyce Scholarship. She plans to pursue a degree in biochemistry.

Meder, son of Tim and Kristin Meder, received a $2,500 single payment from Fifth Third Bank.

He was a member of the Engineering Team and National Honor Society at St. Charles. He was also editor of the school's student newspaper, the Carolian. Meder also will graduate with a 4.2 GPA.

Meder said he was happy when he heard he received the scholarship and grateful for the recognition.

"I thought it was just a really great award," Meder said. "I thought my work in my school had paid off.

Meder also will attend Notre Dame in the fall, where he plans to pursue a degree in chemical engineering.

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