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Media Releases: October 1, 2003
Six St. Johns County seniors have qualified
as National Merit Semifinalists for 2004. They are Douglas
Eatman of Pedro Menendez High School (PMHS); Andrew McCaddin,
Keely O’Malley and Brandon Pence, all of Nease High
School (NHS); and Michael Hudnall and Devon Hutchins, both
of St. Augustine High School (SAHS).
These students placed among the top one-half percent of all students in the
country taking the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)/National Merit
Scholarship Qualifying Test given annually to high school juniors. As six of
16,000 semifinalists nationwide, they are now eligible to advance to the finalist
competition to vie for 8,000 scholarships worth more than $32 million.
Kalie Kissoon of NHS also qualified as a semifinalist in the National Achievement
Scholarship Program, which recognizes scholastically promising black American
seniors. She will have the opportunity to compete for 775 scholarships worth
Douglas Eatman is currently ranked fourth in his class at PMHS. He is an Eagle
Scout, holds a private pilot’s license and plans to study aerospace engineering
at the Florida Institute of Technology. Douglas is the son of Keith and Susan
Eatman of St. Augustine.
Another Eagle Scout, Andrew McCaddin, wants to major in electrical engineering.
The son of Henry McCaddin and Pat Kane of Ponte Vedra Beach, Andrew participates
in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, Model United Nations and marching
and concert bands.
Keely O’Malley, ranked second in the NHS senior class, is also in the
IB Program and Model UN. She is editor of the literary magazine and plans to
study biology in college. Keely’s parents are Pat and Doreen O’Malley
of Ponte Vedra Beach.
Brandon Pence, son of Skip and Julie Pence of Ponte Vedra Beach, is in the
IB Program and is currently ranked first in his class. He participates in band
and varsity tennis and was the American Mathematics Competition School Winner.
Brandon wants to major in engineering.
Michael Hudnall hopes to study political science at Georgetown University.
He plays the saxophone, serves as band captain and participates in Hi-Q. His
parents are Michael and Celia Hudnall of St. Augustine.
Devon Hutchins wants to major in social science
at Columbia University or the University of Florida. She
is editor of the yearbook and the founder and student coordinator
of Amnesty International Student Group. Devon is the daughter
of Robert and Susan Hutchins of St. Augustine.
Kalie Kissoon is involved in Model UN and the International Thespian Society
and serves as treasurer of the National Hispanic Honor Society. Her parents
are Tex and Janice Kissoon of Ponte Vedra Beach.
In addition to these semifinalists, St. Johns County had 20 Commended Students
who scored among the top five percent of all students in the country. This
is a 67 percent increase over last year’s total.
Commended Students for 2004 are Stephen Donoho, Sarah Glicksteen, Matthew Helgeson,
Kathryn Mancino, Connor Maxwell and Devin Phillips of Bartram Trail High School;
Stephen DiMare, Ashley High, Matthew Long and Jonas Mueller of PMHS; Brent
Haertlein, Kalie Kissoon, Alexandra Pape, Melina Sevlever, Richard Sheffler,
Tucker Stachitas and Michael Wenzel of NHS; and Michael Bowers, Heather Connaway
and Emily Minson of SAHS.
All of the National Merit Semifinalists and Commended Students will be honored
at the November 6 School Board Meeting.