Contact: Tom Hernandez

Director of Communications

  (630) 513-2593

May 4, 2005

Education Partners, good afternoon:

Too much news, too little time. But, one item that requires sharing immediately.

* St. Charles East High senior Samantha Martin is one of 2,500 National Merit Scholarship winners, as announced today. I have copied the press release from the National Merit Scholarship Corp. below.

Samantha was one of three District 303 students named semifinalists last fall. Five more D. 303 students earned Commended status. Here is the press release from that announcement:

More info will follow tomorrow…

Congratulations to Samantha for this significant achievement.

Winners of
National Merit® $2500 Scholarships Named

(Evanston, Illinois) The names of 2,500 distinguished high school seniors who have won National Merit $2500 Scholarships were announced today by officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

These academic champions were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding students who reached the Finalist level in the 2005 National Merit Scholarship Program.

All Finalists competed for one of the National Merit $2500 Scholarships. Winners were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors and are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of recipients named in each statewas based on the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors.

Working in teams, selection committee members appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by Finalists and their schools. They evaluated each Finalist’s academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay describing interests and goals; and the recommendation written by a high school official.

NMSC is underwriting about 90 percent of the single-payment National Merit $2500 Scholarships with its own funds. The remainder are supported with grants from corporate and business sponsors in the National Merit Scholarship Program.