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Two SLPS Students Named National Merit Finalist

ST. LOUIS, MO. April 21, 2016 – Two Saint Louis Public Schools seniors have been named National Merit Finalist by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Andrew Benckendorf and Reid Doctor, both students at Metro Academic and Classical High School, received the distinguished academic honor.

The journey for the two scholars began in October of 2014 when they took the Junior PSAT, which serves as the qualifying test for the national scholarship contest. In order to advance in the competition, Benckendorf and Doctor had to score in the top 1.5% of students testing in the state of Missouri. This past September, they were identified as National Merit Semi-Finalist. From there, they both completed a finalist application that included an essay and a resume of extra-curricular activities.

The school submitted its endorsement as well as official transcript of their grades. Additionally, National Semi-Finalist had to take and score comparably on the SAT to validate their PSAT scores. This February, they were notified of their Finalist status.

“Andrew possesses a high level of drive and competitiveness.  Andrew’s level of intensity, focus and discipline are unusual and he is able to highly achieve in virtually anything he endeavors,” said Chat Leonard, Director of College Counseling at Metro Academic & Classical High. “Andrew is demanding of himself, choosing to work with a broad spectrum rather than focusing his energies and talents into one area.  Yet, he has the high ability to balance priorities without sacrificing results.” 

“Reid is always considered an asset to a group because of his maturity of character.  He has been voted most valuable player on his chess team because of his willingness to play in the bracket which most benefits the team and not necessarily him,” said Leonard. “At the age of 15, he worked in a science lab at Washington University with college students.  Reid is very serious about being punctual, meeting his responsibilities, and working well within a group. “

Benckendorf will be attending Washington University as a pre-med student in the fall, and Doctor will be attending the University of California-San Diego as an engineering student.


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Metro Merit Finalist