National Merit Commended Students

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Gigi Moore, Chase Belk, Carter Dwight & Addie Singleton

Seniors Chase Belk, Carter Dwight, Gigi Moore and Addie Singleton have been named Commended Students in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise.  These students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the competition by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT.

Three Seniors Recognized as National Merit Semifinalists (The Sumter Item)


Kendall Brogdon, Raines Waggett & Simmons deHoll

Seniors Kendall Brogdon, Simmons deHoll and Raines Waggett have been selected as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. They are the only students in Clarendon, Lee and Sumter Counties to receive this recognition, according to the National Merit Scholarship Program publication. Semifinalists show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. More than 1.4 million students in nearly 22,000 high schools entered the 2015 National Merit Program by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT which served as an initial screen of program entrants.  The 16,000 Semifinalists are the highest-scoring entrants in each state and represent less than one percent of each state’s high school seniors. Kendall, Raines & Simmons have the opportunity to continue in the competition for one of 8,000 Merit Scholarships that will be offered in the spring.

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21 Advanced Placement Scholars


Simmons deHoll, Kendall Brogdon, Ryan Norris, Carter Dwight & Emily Bell

Because of their exceptional achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement (AP) Exams, 21 students received recognition from the College Board.  About 22 percent of the 2.2 million students worldwide who took AP Exams performed at a sufficiently high level to earn an AP Scholar Award.  In May 77 Wilson Hall students became eligible to receive college credit by earning a score of 3 or higher on at least one exam.

AP Exams, which students take after completing challenging college-level courses taught at their high school, are graded on a five-point scale (5 being the highest).  Most of the nation’s colleges and universities award credit, advanced placement, or both for grades of 3 or higher.  To qualify to teach an AP course, teachers must attend an intensive AP workshop held during the summer.  Wilson Hall offers 16 AP courses.

Ken Ballard (Clemson University Honors), J.D. Croft (Calvin College), Claire Estep (University of Alabama Honors), Eric Hartzell (Clemson), Scott Harvin (College of Charleston Honors), Kate McGrath (Liberty University) and Tripp Whaley (Duke University), 2014 graduates, received the AP Scholar with Distinction Award for earning an average grade of at least 3.5 on all exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. Kyanna Dawson (Carnegie Mellon University), Amelia Macloskie (University of South Carolina), Kemper Patton (Wingate University), Justin Schaare (George Mason University) and Drake Shadwell (Furman University), 2014 graduates, received the AP Scholar with Honor Award for earning an average grade of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. The following received the AP Scholar Award for earning a 3 or higher on at least three exams: seniors Emily Bell, Kendall Brogdon, Simmons deHoll, Carter Dwight and Ryan Norris and 2014 graduates Louisa Aldrich (USC), Hazel Gray Hudson (Clemson), Jack Jackson (USC) and Parker McDuffie (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).