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VCHS senior named National Merit Scholarship finalist

Staff report

Virginia City High School senior Erin Breithaupt is a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program for 2006.

The program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships, and began in 1955. High school students enter the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) – a test that serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.3 million entrants each year – and by meeting published program entry/participation requirements.

Breithaupt is co-valedictorian for the class of 2006, as well as a three-sport letterman. She finished second in the 2005 state cross-country championships, was co-captain of the varsity girl’s basketball team and will play a prominent role on the girl’s softball team. In addition, she qualified as a member of the state honor band on the oboe and is a member of the regional honor choir.

“The entire Virginia City community is very proud of Erin,” said Virginia City High School Principal Patrick Beckwith. “She is outstanding student and athlete, but even a better person.”

In early September, about 16,000 students are notified that they have qualified as semifinalists. The semifinalists are the highest scoring entrants in each state. In February, finalists are notified by mail.

Beginning this month and continuing to mid-June, the National Merit Scholarship Corp. notifies approximately 8,200 finalists that they have been selected to receive an award. All Merit Scholarship awards are chosen from the finalist group, based on their abilities, skills and accomplishments.