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Smith: Academic honors pour in for York

Community voice

As the school year begins to wind to a close (graduation for the Class of 2014 on Sunday, May 18 is a little more than three weeks away), Elmhurst District 205 has more good news to report from York Community High School.

'Most Challenging’ list

York gained ground in the Washington Post’s annual compilation of America’s Most Challenging High Schools for 2014. The school placed 22nd in the state (up from 31st last year) and 832nd in the country (up from 1,099th), with an index score of 2.386 (up .439) from 2013.

To create the list, the Post divides the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year by the number of seniors who graduated that year. Any result of 1.0 or higher earns a spot on the list, which featured 2,093 public high schools this year.

National Merit finalists

This past fall, seven York High School seniors were named National Merit semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Recently, all seven were confirmed as NMSC finalists from a national pool of 16,000 top achievers. They are: Matthew Bindeman, Gloria Frank, Joseph Kesslering, Andrew Miranti, Matthew Niewiara, Eric Patterson and Paul Salamanca.

 All NMSC finalists will be considered for National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2014. The selection of some 8,000 Merit Scholarship winners from the group of more than 15,000 finalists is now in progress.

More schlolars

York seniors Samantha Harrell and Matthew Niewiara were just named National Merit Motorola Solutions Scholarship winners. Harrell’s probable career field is civil engineering, while Niewiara’s is agricultural engineering.

The Motorola Solutions Foundation is supported by contributions received from Motorola Solutions, Inc., in Chicago. National Merit Motorola Scholarships are provided to high school seniors who are sons or daughters of Motorola Solutions employees and to other outstanding students from the metropolitan Chicago area. In supporting these awards, the Motorola Solutions Foundation demonstrates its confidence in American youth and recognizes the important role the Motorola family has always played in the company's success.

These and many other deserving students will be honored at the Academic/Athletic Awards Night set 7 p.m. Monday in the York Commons.

Melea Smith is the District 205 director of communications.

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