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Two named National Merit finalists

Braden Hoagland, a senior at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, and Young-Ghee Hong, a senior at Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries, were named finalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Ireton Principal Denise Tobin congratulated Hoagland for the honor. “We are so proud of the standard he sets for excellence in rigorous academic coursework and outstanding service to the Ireton community,” she said.

Thomas E. Giska, director of guidance and counseling at John Paul the Great, said Hong suffered a severe concussion during the fall of his junior year, missing several days of school but he maintained all As. “He is intelligent, socially mature for his age, analytical and athletic,” said Giska. “He was a key member of our wrestling team and is very active in the school community where he became an assistant sailing instructor at the Quantico Marine Base.”

The National Merit Scholarship Competition begins with the PSAT in the fall of junior year. Of the approximately 1.6 million entrants, only 15,000 become finalists. Becoming a finalist is the result of high test scores on the PSAT and SAT, outstanding academic achievement and strong participation in extracurricular activities.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018