Six Huntington High School students have earned honors in the 2021 National Merit scholarship program. Mia Brown, Chloe Buffone, Grace Kenny, Ella Siepel, Grace Wildermuth and Bryan Wong have been officially “commended,” placing them among the top seniors out of more than 1.5 million participants in about 21,000 high school in the nationwide academic competition.
“These terrific young adults have worked and continue to work extraordinarily hard in all regards,” Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “Throughout their days in Huntington, they have also pursued their interests routinely, served as role models and represented the community in the finest manner possible. We are so incredibly proud of all they have accomplished and know they are destined for great things ahead.”
The six commended students join National Merit semifinalist Andreas Seferian as Huntington’s honorees in the 2021 scholarship program. The highly regarded National Merit program recognizes 50,000 exceptional American seniors.
“These extraordinary students have certainly made us proud,” Huntington Principal Brenden Cusack said. “Despite the challenges we all currently navigate each day, these students continue to show their dedication to their academic careers and they represent Huntington in the finest fashion. I truly appreciate the efforts of these fine students and offer each of them my hearty congratulations.”
The National Merit said that Huntington’s six “commended” honorees “have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success.”
The National Merit Scholarship Corp. complimented Huntington High School faculty members for their work with the six commended students. “We have great respect for the important part that you and your professional staff play in the development of academically talented young people and it is a genuine pleasure for NMSC to join you in honoring these able students,” wrote Kimberly C. Grenier, executive director of scholarship administration in a letter to Mr. Cusack.
The six scholars are all proud of their achievement. The seniors are navigating their way through some difficult times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am very honored to have been named a National Merit commended scholar,” Ms. Kenny said. “I took my first SAT exam when I was 11 years old to qualify for the CTY program through John’s Hopkins University. Now as a senior, having studied and taken practice tests to improve my score, I can take the exam with confidence and ease. However, since the start of the pandemic, it has been difficult to schedule appointments to take the actual exam. One that I was registered for in August, which I would’ve had to go all the way to the Bronx to take, was postponed until further notice.”