Local students named National Merit Scholars

LINCOLN COUNTY — Ethan Price, a senior at Taft 7-12, and Erin Watanabe, a senior at Newport High School, join approximately 3,400 students nationwide who have been named a commended student in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Commended students placed in the top 50,000 of the more than 1.5 million students who took the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Price and Watanabe will receive a letter of commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) and their school.

“Those being named commended students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” said a spokesperson for NMSC.

Watanabe, an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate with a perfect (4.0) cumulative GPA, assists other students as an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) tutor. A varsity cheerleader for four years, Watanabe is currently cheer captain, 2019 OSAA State Cheerleading Champion and was twice named an OCAA all-state team member. She is involved with the Junior Optimists Club and school leadership.

September Rotary Student of the Month, Watanabe embodies academic excellence, outstanding leadership, school contribution and community involvement, said NHS Principal Reyna Mattson.

“Erin is the type of student who has combined her natural intelligence with a tremendous work ethic,” said Samantha Murphy, Watanabe’s International Baccalaureate English teacher.

Price, a member of the National Honor Society, the debate team and the key club, holds a 3.96 cumulative GPA. He has represented his school on the cross county and swimming teams for four years. Currently part of the school leadership program, Price is enrolled in AP and dual credit classes.

Taft High School Principal Nicholas Lupo said, “Taft 7-12 is very proud of Ethan Price.”


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