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Four BK seniors named semifinalists to become National Merit Scholars

The following story appeared in the October 8 Idaho Catholic Register.




BOISE – Four Bishop Kelly High School seniors are semifinalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.


The Bishop Kelly seniors named as semifinalists are Parker Anderson, Matthew Benson, Sarah East and Christopher Martino.


“These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered next spring,” according a statement provided by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.


The semifinalists enter the competition while they are juniors by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.


Parker Anderson attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Boise. His favorite subjects at BK have been AP Physics and AP Human Geography. He is a leader on the school’s lacrosse and ski teams. He also tutors an 8th-grader and has been a Basque dancer since he was very young. While he still has not made a final decision, he is hoping to attend Colorado School of Mines next year, where he plans to study computer engineering. He hopes to work at Bose as a sound engineer.



Matthew Benson attended middle school in California, as well as 8th grade at Saint Joseph’s Catholic School in Boise. At Bishop Kelly, Benson enjoys STEM classes, including his AP Biology and AP Calculus classes. He is involved in the Dead Economists Society and volunteers for the Boise Botanical Gardens and as a tutor for his peers. In college, he plans to study molecular biology, biochemical engineering or genetics. He is interested in becoming either a doc-tor, a geneticist or possibly a venture capitalist.



Sarah East attended Lowell Scott Middle School in Boise. At Bishop Kelly, she enjoys history and English classes the most. She is a varsity member of the Speech and Debate team, and a co-president of the Spanish Club. She also participates in Club Unify and the Human Rights Club. She plans to study neuroscience at a university somewhere on the East Coast, on her way to becoming a pediatrician.



Chris Martino attended Lowell Scott Middle School in Boise and Saint Ignatius Catholic School in Meridian. His favorite subjects are his science courses. Martino is a state champion wrestler, and an accomplished member of the Cross Country team. He is a team captain on both teams. He plans to attend Princeton University and join the wrestling team there as well. He wants to study chemistry or molecular biology so that he can go to medical school and become a doctor.


If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more like it, please consider buying a subscription to the Idaho Catholic Register. Your $20 yearly subscription also supports the work of the Diocese of Boise Communications Department, which includes not only the newspaper, but this website, social media posts and videos. You can subscribe here, or through your parish, or send a check to 1501 S. Federal Way, Boise, ID, 83705: or call 208-350-7554 to leave a credit card payment. Thank you, and God bless you.

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