PCHS students haul in more awards | ParkRecord.com

PCHS students haul in more awards

Six Park City High School students have netted a prestigious national honor.

The students have been named Commended Students in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship program. According to a press release, those who were given the honor are Katherine Kelly, Willem Radovan, Derek Sederman, Katherine Turnlund, Mara Williams and Matthew Zehner.

The commendation is given annually to students who perform best on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. To win the honor, a student must place in the top five percent of all participants. According to the release, 1.5 million students took the test for this year’s award.

Park City High School principal Bob O’Connor said to have this many students receiving the honor is a testament to the work students and teachers put in each year.

"It means we have some smart kids and teachers that are doing a great job of teaching them," he said. "Six kids is a lot for a school of this size, to get those kids in the top five percent."

This is not the first time students from the school have recently been honored with a prestigious award. In August, two students who graduated last year — Robbie Derber and Anna Buchman — were named State AP scholars by the College Board, an award that goes annually to the top male and female student who scored the highest on the most advanced placement tests. That came just months after Gov. Gary Herbert named the school the top-performing AP school in the state.

O’Connor said it’s gratifying each time the school — or its students — is recognized for its performance. But while a lot of the school’s success can be attributed to what happens in its classrooms, he said it goes much deeper than that.

"It’s a tribute to the overall community," he said. "We have some parents that expect the accolades that the school receives, and we have students that expect to achieve at such a high level. And then our teachers provide the opportunity for our students to perform at that level. It’s an overall community effort. Not just the school. Everyone should share in it and take credit."

Being part of an environment that places an emphasis on education has allowed the school to continue to set its sights higher. Each time a goal is reached, another one is set, O’Connor said.

"It makes it very easy to set goals," he said. "The bar is so high that we can set the bar even higher. I feel fortunate to be in the position I am."

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