Nine Marion Students Named 2020 National Merit Semifinalists
OCTOBER 28, 2019 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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LEFT: Belleview High’s Thomas DeIorio and Camryn Chester
MIDDLE: Forest High’s Patrick Betty and Joshua Fosen
RIGHT: Vanguard High’s (front row) Alexander Phipps, Harrison Knight; (back row) Conrad Hellwege, Graham Cope and Jordan Davidsen.
NINE MARION STUDENTS NAMED
2020 NATIONAL MERIT SEMIFINALISTS
MARION COUNTY – Nine seniors enrolled in Marion County Public Schools are semifinalists in the competitive 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, one of the nation’s most prestigious college programs.
With approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide, these students represent less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors, indicating the high honor of being named a semifinalist.
- Camryn Chester is 17 years old and attended Shady Hill Elementary, Belleview Middle and Belleview High. She plans to stay in Florida for college and wants to study acting and directing. Her parents are Mike and Daphne Chester.
- Tommaso “Thomas” DeIorio is 17 years old and attended Shady Hill Elementary, Belleview Middle, and Belleview High. He is applying to universities with strong engineering programs and plans to major in chemical, electrical, or another type of engineering. He’s the son of Anthony and Lauren DeIorio.
- Patrick Betty is 17 years old and attended Greenway and Dr. NH Jones Elementary schools, Howard Middle, and Forest. Undecided on his college major, he hopes to study history and possibly become a college professor. He is the son of Sam and Jenny Betty of Ocala.
- Joshua Fosen is 17 years old and attended Dr. NH Jones Elementary, Osceola Middle and Forest High. He plans to attend the University of Florida to study biomedical engineering. He is the son of Brad and Joy Broersma and Keith and Brenda Fosen of Ocala.
- Graham Cope is 17 years old and attended Dr. NH Jones Elementary, Osceola Middle and Vanguard High. He plans to attend Princeton University, or Harvard University or Brown University as alternate choices. He’s unsure of his college major as of now but leans toward chemistry, chemical engineering or math. His parents are Aaron and Nicole Cope of Ocala.
- Jordan Davidsen is 17 years old and attended Madison Street Academy, Howard Middle and Vanguard High. He plans to pursue journalism at a yet-to-be-decided university. He’s the son of Rachel Davidsen of Ocala.
- Conrad Hellwege is 17 years old and attended elementary schools in another district before enrolling at Howard Middle and Vanguard High. Interested in several universities, he will most likely major in engineering or finance -- something definitely math-related. He is the son of Conrad and Mari Hellwege of Ocala.
- Harrison Knight is 17 years old and attended Blessed Trinity prior to enrolling at Vanguard High. He’s undecided on his college choice but plans to major in English and work for a major book publisher. His parents are Brian and Bernadette Knight of Ocala.
- Alexander Phipps is 17 years old and attended Osceola Middle and Vanguard. He would like to attend Harvard University and is applying others as well. His major will be computer science and cybersecurity. He’s the son of Arnold and Tracy Phipps of Ocala.
Starting in March 2020, these students will learn if they advance to the next round as finalists.
The 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program will award $31 million in college scholarships to more than 7,500 students from 1.6 million entrants. The program has handed out over $1.6 billion in scholarships since it started in 1955.
For more information, contact my office or visit www.nationalmerit.org.
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