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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 $2.7 million.

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.

Read more news in our Media Release Archive.


St. Johns County School District
40 Orange St. St. Augustine, FL 32084 904.819.7500