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Irvington Senior Thrilled By National Merit Honors

IRVINGTON, N.Y. – Irvington High School senior Monica Driscoll was walking through the main office on the first day of school when she found out she had been named a National Merit Semifinalist.

“There was a whole group of people and Dr. Mosenthal was like 'Monica Driscoll!'” she said. “He pulled me off to the side and handed me the letter. It was very exciting.”

Driscoll, a Tarrytown resident, was one of two Irvington seniors to make it to the semifinalist round of the National Merit Scholarship Competition this year. She will compete with 16,000 others to become a National Merit Finalist in February. Students enter the competition when they take the preliminary SAT.

Driscoll spends a lot of her time creating art, and says she plans to pursue art in college. Driscoll said she had been looking forward to finding out if she had made the cut for semifinalists.

“It wasn't something I originally cared about, but I had a friend in another school who started freaking out because it was something she cared about,” Driscoll said.

Her friend's excitement spread, and soon Driscoll found herself checking past years' scores regularly to see if she had made it. Students learn their scores several months before the semifinalists are announced.

Driscoll will have to write an essay and send in a letter of recommendation and her grades to advance to the finalist round. Finalists are eligible to compete for several scholarships. She says earning semifinalist status is neat.

“There are a lot of things that I've felt really proud of that I've done for art” and other classes, she said. “This is something where it's not only did you do well, but you're at the top.”

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