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Paynesville Press - September 17, 2003

Senior named National Merit semifinalist

By Michael Jacobson

Melissa Andrie Merit semifinalist Melissa Andrie, a senior at Paynesville Area High School, has been named a semifinalist in the 2004 National Merit Scholarship Program, based on her score on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) taken last fall. As a semifinalist, Andrie is one of the top 16,000 students from over 1.3 million high school juniors who took the test.

Melissa Andrie, a senior at Paynesville Area High School, has been named a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program for 2004.

Andrie, the daughter of DuDonne and Jim Andrie, learned last spring that she was a commended student, by placing in the top 50,000 on the test. She learned that she was a semifinalist on the first day of school, when principal John Janotta called her to his office and told her the news.

Andrie placed in the top one percent in the country on the PSAT. To become a finalist, Andrie will have to verify her test results with her school records, an essay about herself, a recommendation from Janotta, and her SAT results. Andrie took the SAT in June and said she scored 1,580 out of 1,600, including a perfect 800 in English and 780 in math. She also placed in the top one percent on this test.

Chart of former Paynesville scholars Fifteen thousand finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program will be announced in January, of which 8,000 will get scholarships from the program, announced next spring.

Andrie – a straight-A student and a member of the National Honor Society– is looking at a number of private colleges in Minnesota. She is considering studying math, English, psychology, or social work and eventually wants to teach post-secondary education.

Whether or not she gets a scholarship from the program, being a National Merit semifinalist should help her get a scholarship for school, and she said that will influence her choice in schools.

Already, she has received boxes full of college brochures since being named a commended student.

"These are the top students in our schools," said Janotta, "and colleges love to have them. They're going to recruit them hard."

Typically, about a quarter of the junior class at PAHS – normally college-bound students – take the PSAT, said Janotta.

Andrie is the first semifinalist from PAHS in the National Merit Scholarship Program since Jeff Weis in 1989, according to school records. In the last two decades, PAHS has produced four semifinalists – Doug Dietrich (Class of 1984), Robb Kannenberg (Class of 1984), Weis (Class of 1989), and Andrie – and two finalists – Tony Lindquist (Class of 1986) and Julie Weis (Class of 1987). Andrie could become a finalist in January 2004.

PAHS has produced 21 commended students since 1983, the last two being Amanda Reeck (Class of 2000) and Scott Ingalsbe (Class of 2001).

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