Walton County National Merit Finalists/Semi-Finalists?

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Jdarg, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Ebro
    I didn't read the same thing into Meggiemom's post as you did. My feeling is that National Merit Scholarships are usually won by gifted students. That's not to say that Walton county doesn't have some but most gifted students probably don't go on the earn Merit Scholarships either. I don't think you can measure a schools success by the number of these scholarships earned by students. How many Rhodes Scholars has Walton County produced?
     
  2. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    152
    Rhodes scholars are designated based upon a student's performance in college, not high school. There are numerous ways to measure the success of our students. National Merit scholarships are one method. Bright futures is another. Competitive college acceptance is another. Graduation rates. Direct classroom expenditures to administrative overhead is another. Etc. Etc. How WCSD stacks up on many stats, not just one, seems appropriate.
     
  3. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Ebro
    I know that Rhodes scholars are designated based on college performance. I'm not an idiot. I had a cousin who was a Rhodes scholar. He attended a private school (Indian Springs in Alabama) and I believe he also won a National Merit Scholarship. I brought up the Bright futures but nobody seems interested although it's much more attainable than a National Merit Scholarship. As far as I know nobody in the high school I graduated from ever got one but it was an excellent school system. I simply don't believe that the number of National Merit Scholarship finalists and semi-finalists are a valid measure of a school's success. I wish I could have sent my two children to private schools but they did manage to earn BS degrees after graduating from public schools.
     
  4. m1a1mg

    m1a1mg Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2014
    Messages:
    921
    Likes Received:
    247
    Location:
    Lost in the world
    I agree that there are many metrics to determine good schools. What I can't seem to find, and I've looked, is where WCSD brags about these accomplishments. We've lived all over the country, and parts of foreign countries, and one thing we've always noticed is school systems bragging about their accomplishments in education. WCSD, not so much.
     
  5. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    152
    I think it has something to do with the humble nature of our educational leaders. They are too busy and pure-hearted to take the time to boast about accomplishments. (Sarcasm)
     
  6. Zebraspots

    Zebraspots Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    247
    Location:
    Santa Rosa Beach
    I find it interesting that people are simultaneously complaining about "teaching to the test" regarding the FCAT and "not teaching to the test" regarding the PSAT.

    Instead of fretting about specific tests, we need to be providing a good basic education to everyone with a focus on literacy and critical thinking. A broadly and competently educated student will always do better on any test than one who is educated with a narrow scope or a specific purpose.
     
  7. sunny850

    sunny850 Beach Lover

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    38
    Walton county has a National Merit Scholar winner, not just a finalist! A young lady at Walton High School in DeFuniak Springs was just awarded the scholarship. Its on the district website!
     
  8. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Glendale
    Yes we do have a winner! She is a fine young lady and her parents are both wonderful people who have been educating our children for many years as well as raising their own.
     
  9. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    18,069
    Likes Received:
    1,961
    That is weird. The winner was listed as homeschooled on the report I saw and posted at start of this thread. What year did she win? I looked at reports for several years back.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
  10. BJackson

    BJackson Beach Lover

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Blue Mountain Beach, Florida
  11. sunny850

    sunny850 Beach Lover

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    38
    She has attended walton county schools since kindergarten. She is currently at Walton High and just won this year.
     
  12. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    152
    I am sure she is a fine student and a credit to her family. The news release did not say she was a National Merit Finalist or Semifinalist, it says National Merit Scholarship Student. According to their website, this means she was in the top 50,000 nationwide. This is very impressive and she should be congratulated and held up as an example for other students, but it is unfortunately just below requirements for the national merit scholarship semifinalist recognition
     
  13. sunny850

    sunny850 Beach Lover

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    38
    You are right she has not won a scholarship yet. She is a semi-finalist. She cannot become a finalist until completing her senior year coursework. Good luck to her!
     
  14. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,804
    Likes Received:
    297
    That's great! Regardless of the absolute mess the school district and its leader are in, we all need to support her!

    What can we do to help her get the scholarship?
     
  15. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Ebro
    Congratulations to this young lady. I'd still like to know how many Walton County seniors won Bright Futures scholarships.
     
  16. Misty

    Misty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,787
    Likes Received:
    468
    From how long ago? Mine won a 75% Bright Futures in 2003
     
  17. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Ebro
    How about 2013? I would assume that the queen and her court would have this information. She keeps up with FCAT numbers.
     
  18. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    18,069
    Likes Received:
    1,961
    This is great news to hear that ONE student in our entire district did so well. Yes, it is impressive, but a National Merit Scholarship "student" is not the same as a semi-finalist or a finalist. It will however, look great on her college applications. If she is actually a semi-finalist, then the school district did a lousy job on the press release. If the school system has had other commended students, who heard about them? Hitting these distinctions is important when universities and colleges look at OUR schools when our kids apply.

    I guarantee you there are plenty of kids in this county that should at least get a commended student recognition, and quite a few over the years that should have at least been semi-finalists. Our expectations for excellence from the district level has a very low bar overall. Thank goodness for the individual teachers who are trying to raise it despite it all.

    From http://www.nationalmerit.org/nmsp.php
    [h=2]Commended Students[/h] In late September, more than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT[SUP]®[/SUP] receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended Students are named on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year and is typically below the level required for participants to be named Semifinalists in their respective states. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit[SUP]®[/SUP] Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses. back to top [​IMG]
    [h=2]Semifinalists[/h] In early September, about 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, are notified that they have qualified as Semifinalists. To ensure that academically talented young people from all parts of the United States are included in this talent pool, Semifinalists are designated on a state-representational basis. They are the highest scoring entrants in each state. NMSC provides scholarship application materials to Semifinalists through their high schools. To be considered for a National Merit[SUP]®[/SUP] Scholarship, Semifinalists must advance to Finalist standing in the competition by meeting high academic standards and all other requirements explained in the information provided to each Semifinalist. Click here to learn about requirements for becoming a Finalist in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required.) back to top [​IMG]
    [h=2]Finalists[/h] In February, some 15,000 Semifinalists are notified by mail at their home addresses that they have advanced to Finalist standing. High school principals are notified and provided with a certificate to present to each Finalist. back to top [​IMG]
     
  19. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,403
    Likes Received:
    1,659
    Location:
    Blue Mountain Beach
    Jdarg, thank you for posting such a fine explaination of the National Merit Scholarship award process. I have a feeling you may have a personal interest in such procedures. If so, great, if not, again, thank you for such definitive information. On another issue. We should all bear in mind that college is not a suitable career path for every student. There should be alternatives offered in our school systems for those desiring career paths other than professional ones. There is a very good living to be made in the trades area. We are stupid if we do not give such areas their just due.
     
  20. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    18,069
    Likes Received:
    1,961
    Yes, I have a big interest in tests that actually measure how our students stack up academically against students from all over the country, not just at the Panhandle or state level. The PSAT, AP, IB, or the Cambridge AICE programs all have tests that will show if my kid has achieved at the level of the kid at a New York prep school, or a big city magnet school, or a strong charter school. They all take the same tests. These are also the tests and programs that truly matter for scholarship money, and Bright Futures is a nice icing on the cake, but it maxes out now at $1500 per semester (and that doesn't go very far, trust me, my kid had the top level award). The young lady from Walton will have many more college and acceptance opportunities from her good score on that PSAT, coupled with AP and good grades. This is why I wish there was much more emphasis on the PSAT- it really gets the ball rolling for a lot of kids.

    To be fair, the district high schools all have some vocation and tech offerings, and they have increased in the availability and quality in the last several years.
     

Share This Page