News Feature

Deer Isle
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, October 5, 2017
DISHS senior named Merit Scholarship semifinalist

Merit scholarship semifinalist

Deer Isle-Stonington High School senior Brendan Penfold has been named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.

Penobscot Bay Press file photo

by Monique Labbe

Deer Isle-Stonington High School senior and standout runner Brendan Penfold has been named a semifinalist for the National Merit Scholarship, according to school guidance counselor Tim Goding.

The semifinalists are chosen based on the students’ PSAT scores from the previous year. According to the National Merit website, over 1.5 million students in the United States take the PSATs every year. Of those, 50,000, or approximately 3.3 percent, are chosen as Commended Scholars, while 16,000, or about 1.1 percent, are chosen as National Merit Scholar semifinalists. Of the 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 will be named finalists, based on GPA and their SAT scores, and then they are evaluated based on an essay, transcript, extra curricular activities, and recommendations. Fifty-five percent of the finalists will receive a $2,500 scholarship.

Penfold has been an active member in his school community throughout his high school career. He is a part of the student government and serves as a student representative to the CSD 13 board. He is also the school’s top runner in both fall cross-country and spring track, and most recently finished in 20th place at the Festival of Champions on September 30 out of nearly 1,000 runners.

“[Penfold] is very involved in school activities and the community,” said Goding. “He is very respected by both staff and students.”

Goding noted that several colleges and universities have contacted Penfold to join their running programs.

Finalists will be announced in February, according to the website.