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Two Waco ISD students earn national recognition


Waco High's Jon Martinez University High's Karin Rodriguez
November 6, 2020

WACO, Texas – Two Waco ISD students have earned national recognition for their performance on the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) and have received notification of recognition in the 2021 National Merit® Scholarship Corporation’s National Merit® Scholarship Program and the National Hispanic Scholarship’s National Hispanic Scholar program.

These prestigious awards are based upon scores from the PSAT/NMSQT®, which students take in October of their junior year of high school. Approximately 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools take this exam every October, and of the 1.5 million entrants, 50,000 students with the highest scores in critical reading, mathematics and writing are recognized.

Waco High School senior Jon Martinez has earned the title, “2020-2021 Commended National Merit Scholar.” Jon is the son of Jessica and Jesse Martinez.

Commended Students are named on the basis of a nationally applied selection index score that may vary from year to year and is below the level required for participants to be named Semifinalists in their respective states. More than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT® receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit® Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for special scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

Jon was recognized for an additional award and joins University High School senior Karin Rodriguez to earn distinction as a “2020-2021 National Hispanic Scholar.” Karin is the son of Araneli and Abel Rodriguez.

The National Hispanic Recognition Program utilizes these same PSAT/NMSQT® scores to recognize high-achieving Hispanic/Latino students within the group of testers. Students who earn the distinction as National Hispanic Scholars represent the highest performers within that tested group. To be considered a National Hispanic Scholar, students must take the PSAT/NMSQT® in October of their junior year, achieving the minimum required PSAT/NMSQT® Selection Index score, earn a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher by the middle of their junior year, and self-identify as at least one-quarter Hispanic/Latino.