Special to the Register
Of the four Madison County students who are National Merit Semifinalists this year, three are from Model Laboratory High School.
The Model students are Maya Gershtenson, Stephanie McCormick and Kyle Newsome. The fourth semifinalist is home-schooled student Cole Milde.
They are in the top 1 percent for scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) they took as juniors.
“We are extremely proud of these students,” said Jamie Worley, Model High School counselor. “They are outstanding in many ways and have bright futures ahead of them.”
McCormick, who plans to pursue a career in biomedical engineering, neuroscience or robotics, also earned the highest score possible on the ACT test with a composite of 36.
Nationally, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn this top score.
“It’s good to know my hard work has paid off,” McCormick said. “Model has been a great catalyst in stimulating my mind to learn and grow, and I’m very happy I had the chance to come here starting in seventh grade.”
Her interests vary widely from playing piano to working with the Humane Society Club. She also has been a member of Youth Leadership Madison County.
McCormick received second place in the Kentucky Science Fair and participated in the Governor’s Scholar Program. Harvard, Yale and Duke are on her list of potential college choices.
“I plan to start an indie game company,” McCormick added. “That really excites me!”
Gershtenson has plans for a career in genetic engineering or the medical field. She is looking forward to the scholarship opportunities the award opens up, because she has her sights set on such schools as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Princeton University.
Gershtenson also plays flute in both band and orchestra, is a Governor’s Scholar and is on the Richmond Youth Advisory Commission.
“The best part about being at Model is that the teachers really care about us: past, present and future,” she said.
Newsome’s goal is to attend MIT and become a chemical engineer.
In addition to enjoying art and music, Newsome likes to compete on the Model High Academic Team.
“I’m really interested in just learning as much as I can about subjects that interest me,” he said.
The Register was unable to reach Milde for an interview.
The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955.
High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test PSAT/NMSQT, a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year, and by meeting published program entry/participation requirements.