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2 MHS seniors area finalists for National Merit scholarships
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MONROE - The National Merit Scholarship Corporation chose two Monroe High School students as finalists in its scholarship program.

MHS seniors Kelley Baumann and Joel Frankford are among about 15,000 finalists from across the country, of which about 7,600 - a little more than half - will win a scholarship.

"This is probably the most prestigious award in the country," Chris Medenwaldt, MHS principal, told the Monroe school board Monday.

Baumann and Frankford attended part of the meeting to answer board members' questions and receive congratulations.

District Administrator Cory Hirsbrunner thanked the students for representing Monroe in "such a positive way."

"I don't think people understand how big of a deal this really is," she said.

Monroe had finalists in 2010, 2009 and 2007.

To make it to the final round in the competition, students have to meet "high academic standards," according to the NMSC's website. They also need to be recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores consistent with their earlier performance on the PSAT.

Semifinalists, of which there were about 16,000 this year, are the highest-scoring applicants from each state.

Finalists compete to win one of three types of NMS awards: National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards.

Winners are notified of their awards between March and mid-June.

Baumann and Frankford received a standing ovation from all attending school board members.