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CKHS students competing with nation’s best

Standardized tests are not supposed to define who a student is. But to a group of Central Kitsap High School seniors, their Preliminary SAT sores have served as a stepping stone.

Simply by sitting for the test as juniors, nearly 1.3 million students across the nation entered the competition for the 2006 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Carey Batschi, Allyson Boe, Sabrina MacDuff and James Sledd are semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Maya Mozon is a semifinalist for the National Achievement Scholarship Program designed to honor the academic achievements of black youth.

“They’re a stellar group of kids,” said Debbie Belew-Nyquist, assistant principal. “It is a really well-deserved recognition for all the hard work they’ve done through the years.”

The five CKHS seniors are trying to balance challenging classes, with clubs, sports, part-time jobs, hobbies and volunteerism. But as busy as they are, they have already submitted their essays and applications for the merit and achievement programs.

Pending review of those, as well as recommendations from school officials and SAT scores that validate their PSAT results, the Cougars may move on to finalist status to compete for the Merit Scholar or Achievement Scholar honors and scholarship money.

“They are trying to look for a more rounded scholar-student in the second round,” Belew-Nyquist said.

Half of the finalists in each program are expected to win the highest honor. And CKHS students are going into the competition for finalists with extensive resumes to supplement their exceptional test scores.

“They talk about their families a lot,” Belew-Nyquist said. “They have a really strong connection to their school and their community.

“They are the nicest kids you’ll ever meet. They’re interested in their community and the world.”

Allyson Boe

Boe manages to keep her GPA next to perfect at 3.987 — with only one A-, she says, and still

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