PCDS class of 2016 represented in National Merit competition

The group of Phoenix Country Day School students who are competing for the National Merit championship. (submitted photo)

From left on top is, Mala Bansal, Daniel Bashir, Tara Dugel, Andrew Ekmark, Sam Garvin. From left in middle row is, Sarah Humphrey, Benjamin Lee, Philip Lewis, Oliver Marsden, Boden Peterson. From left on the bottom row is, Anita Sheih, Nicole Thumma, Gaby Walton. (submitted photo)

Eight of the 64 members of the Phoenix Country Day School class of 2016 have been named Commended Scholars in the National Merit Scholarship competition.

They join the five PCDS semifinalists recognized earlier this month by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, totaling 13 members or 20 percent of the graduating class receiving a distinction.

The eight Phoenix Country Day School Commended Scholars are Mala Bansal, Andrew Ekmark, Sam Garvin, Sarah Humphrey, Benjamin Lee, Oliver Marsden, Boden Peterson, and Nicole Thumma.  They join Daniel Bashir, Tara Dugel, Philip Lewis, Anita Sheih, and Gaby Walton who were recognized as Semifinalists on Sept. 9, according to a press release.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized based on their performance on last October’s administration of the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

The eight PCDS Commended Students placed among the top five percent of the 1.5 million students who took the test last fall.  The five semifinalists placed in the top one percent of test takers, stated the release.

Since its founding in 1961, PCDS has been recognized by colleges and universities throughout the country for producing high-academic, well-rounded, and especially prepared graduates.

In a given year, 100 percent of PCDS graduates are accepted to a four-year college or university, with approximately 75 percent of those graduates matriculating out-of-state, the release stated.

The most popular out-of-state destinations for the PCDS classes of 2012-15 include USC, NYU, SMU, Wellesley, Brown, Harvard, U. Pennsylvania, Scripps, Claremont McKenna, Cornell, Duke, Occidental, University of California Berkeley, Georgetown, Tufts, and Yale, the release stated.

These eight Commended Students and five semifinalists are representations of students’ interests and abilities at PCDS, ranging from varsity athletics, champion debaters, actors, robotics enthusiasts, and  well-rounded young men and women in general, according to the release.

“It’s exciting to see our students recognized nationally,” stated Director of College Counseling, Jessica Raab in the release. “We are proud of their accomplishments and confident they will flourish as PCDS graduates.”

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