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Mount Greylock Senior Announced As Semi-finalist In National Merit Scholarship Corporation

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School senior, Michael J. Faulkner, was announced as a semi-finalist in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program.
 
Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 66 th annual National Merit® Scholarship Program. 
 
These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring.
 
Mount Greylock Regional School senior, Michael J. Faulkner, was announced as a semi-finalist. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalists standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.
 
NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC's goals of honoring the nation's scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.
 
Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional in the state's percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
 
To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist's academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and write an essay.
 
From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.
 
Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2021. Every Finalist will compete for one 2,500 National Merit® $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor's employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.
 
National Merit Scholarship winners of 2021 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 353,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.
 
Mount Greylock Regional Principal School  Jacob N. Schutz also announced that Oscar S. Low, Charles P. McWeeny, Victoria A. Melkonyan, Leo J. Rossitter and Jacqueline R. Wells have been named Commended Students in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program.
 
A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented by the principal to these scholastically talented seniors.
 
About 34,000 commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2021 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2021 competition by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).
 
"The being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success," a spokesperson for NMSC said. "These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success."
 

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Mount Greylock Superintendent Succession Topic in Exec Session

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Executive session minutes from the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee show that the panel did discuss a succession plan for the district's superintendent behind closed doors, and the minutes shed light on the reason for the superintendent's subsequent departure.
 
In mid-July, iBerkshires.com filed an Open Meeting Law complaint against the committee alleging that, "at the very least, the School Committee's deliberations on July 1 strayed into territory not covered by the stated exception to the Open Meeting Law."
 
That meeting was one of four held in executive session for the stated purpose of conducting contract negotiations with nonunion personnel, specifically the superintendent.
 
An extemporaneous statement by committee member Al Terranova at a July 13 public meeting indicated that the panel did more behind closed doors than simply discuss contract negotiations.
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