Bulldogs recognized by National Merit Scholarship program

Friday, Nov. 20, 2020
By Linda Petersen
Intermountain Catholic

SALT LAKE CITY — Two Judge Memorial Catholic High School seniors have been commended by the National Merit Scholarship program, which recognizes students who score well on the PSAT/NMSQT.

Mark Monette has been named a semifinalist and will learn in February whether he is a finalist; Grace Malooly was named a National Merit Scholar and received a letter of commendation.

Mark is the son of Fred and Sarah Monette; his younger brother John also attends Judge. Mark has volunteered at the George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center; he also is a tennis team captain and captain of the school’s mock trial team. He has received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and has been on the honor roll his four years at Judge. Prior to attending Judge, he was a student at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School.  

Although he already has received acceptance letters from two colleges, Mark hopes to attend the Coast Guard Academy to study government or international relations, then pursue a career in the Coast Guard. Mark and his family attend services at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish and St. Catherine of Siena Parish.

“I’m really glad about this honor,” Mark said. “My family was very supportive, and the school did great to prepare me.”

“Mark Monette is an impressively insightful student,” English teacher Matthew Vanderlaan said. “I previously taught him in AP Seminar, a sophomore English class, where he took his independent research project to look at the connection between political change and the music that either fuels a movement or emerges from a change in a society after political upheaval.”

More than 1.5 million students enter the National Merit Scholarship competition annually. Of those, around 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT® Selection Index scores qualify for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program. One of this year’s high scorers, Judge student Grace Malooly, recently received a letter of commendation from the National Merit Scholarship corporation.

Vanderlaan is Grace’s AP Seminar teacher. She is “one of the most academically rigorous and driven students I’ve had the pleasure to teach,” he said.

Finalists in each state receive $2,500 National Merit Scholarships. These students are judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college courses, according to the National Merit Scholarship’s website. Finalists will be announced in February, and scholarship winners will be named in the spring.

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