Three CHS Seniors have been named Commended Students in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Conway High School Principal Buck Bing presented the letters of commendation on behalf of the school and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, to Emily Holman, Francesca Redditt, and Allison Tilley Wednesday morning.
The three Conway seniors are among about 34,000 students nationwide to be recognized for their academic promise with this honor, placed among the top 50,000 scorers on the 2018 PSAT. More than 1.5 million students took the test.
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recognizes these commended students in an effort to broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them in their pursuit of academic success.
“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential,” says a National Merit Corporation Spokesman, “These students are vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation.”
Conway High School Principal Buck Bing says this is especially true for the three Commended Scholars from the Conway High School Class of 2020..
“The administration, faculty and staff here at CHS are extremely proud of these students,” says Bing. “Their abilities, accomplishments, and work ethic are to be commended. I know I speak for all of their teachers K-12 when I say we proudly congratulate them for this well-deserved recognition.”
Conway High School has announced the names of four seniors who have been named National Merit Semifinalists today in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Joslyn Bruenger, Douglas Butler, Gavin Teague, and Mackenzie Williams are 2020 National Merit Semifinalists.
“Speaking on behalf of the entire Faculty/Staff at Conway High School, we are very proud to announce the semifinalists for the 2020 National Merit Scholarships,” says Principal Buck Bing.
“These students embody what we hope for all students from Conway High School: They are not just successful academically, but are involved in multiple aspects of the Conway High School experience. We look forward to the great things that they will go on to accomplish.”
These four students now move on to the next phase of the National Merit competition, where they have the opportunity to compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million dollars.
The semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to go on to become a finalist. 90 percent of the semifinalists will attain finalist standing, with half of the finalists winning a merit scholarship.
“The outstanding work of our teachers is reflected in these bright students,” says Superintendent Dr. Greg Murry. “We are proud of our students for this achievement. If you look closely at these students and their high school life, they are actively involved in both academics and activities that will prepare them to be great successes in their adult life. Indeed, they are already successful.”
The students qualified for this distinction by taking the Preliminary SAT /National Merit Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and scoring in the top one percent of the nation. The number of semi-finalists in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
Members of the Mattison family gathered with school and district leaders Tuesday to celebrate the official renaming of Florence Mattison Elementary School to include the name of her husband, Preston Mattison.
Florence Mattison Elementary School was opened in 1981 and named after Florence Mattison, a long-time and well-loved educator in the Conway Public School District.
Her husband, Preston Mattison, was also a valued educator in our district. He was born in 1893. In 1923, Mr. Mattison was named the Principal of Pine Street School, where he served until 1947. The school initially served African-American students in grades 1 through 8.
He also played an active role in the affairs of the wider community. During his tenure, he was instrumental in convincing the school board of the need for a high school building to be constructed to serve African-American students at Pine Street.
Last May, the Conway Schools’ Board of Education unanimously approved a proclamation renaming Florence Mattison Elementary School as “Preston and Florence Mattison Elementary School.”
“I am proud of our community and our district for taking this important step in recognizing Preston Mattison’s contribution to education in our community,” says Andre’ Acklin, Conway School Board President. “Even on a personal note, I was able to know the Mattison family while growing up, and they were a tremendous blessing to my family.”
The ceremony included personal remarks from Berthenia Gill and Carla Coleman, both relatives of the Mattisons. They spoke fondly of their “Uncle Preston and Aunt Florence,” both of whom were powerful forces in advancing education, yet tenderhearted toward family, which included anyone and everyone they came to know.
Third and fourth grade students attended the renaming ceremony, which ended with a musical performance by the third grade choir entitled “Agents of Change.”
“We want our students to understand who our school is named after and why they were important.” says Gary Logan, Principal of Preston and Florence Mattison Elementary School. “We want our kids to be able to identify with these community leaders and role models and learn from the strong examples they set.”
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