Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Diocese Recognizes Commended Students in National Merit Scholarship Program

National Merit Commended Students in the Diocese are recognized for their academic excellence, leadership and participation in activities. Front row, from left, are Matthew Mercer and Sarah Ives of Lancaster Catholic High School and Mary Zelis of York Catholic High School. Back row from left are Antonio Centenera, Alexandra Arnold and Silas Gross of Trinity High School. Not pictured are Lily Shriner of Delone Catholic High School and Luis Nguyen of York Catholic.
National Merit Commended Students in the Diocese are recognized for their academic excellence, leadership and participation in activities. Front row, from left, are Matthew Mercer and Sarah Ives of Lancaster Catholic High School and Mary Zelis of York Catholic High School. Back row from left are Antonio Centenera, Alexandra Arnold and Silas Gross of Trinity High School. Not pictured are Lily Shriner of Delone Catholic High School and Luis Nguyen of York Catholic.

Continuing the tradition of honoring the outstanding achievements of Diocesan high school students, the Diocese hosted a luncheon April 25 for commended students in the National Merit Scholarship program, as well as for members of Bishop McDevitt High School’s state champions in football, wrestling and swimming.

The luncheon, which included a visit by Bishop Ronald Gainer and Bishop Timothy Senior, whose appointment was announced that day, celebrates Catholic schools’ mission of forming the whole person, in body, mind and spirit.

This year’s commended students in the National Merit Scholarship Program are Lily Shriner of Delone Catholic High School in McSherrystown; Matthew Mercer and Sarah Ives of Lancaster Catholic High School; Antonio Centenera, Alexandra Arnold and Silas Gross of Trinity High School in Camp Hill; and Luis Nguyen and Mary Zelis of York Catholic High School.

More than two-thirds of nearly 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT receive Letters of Commendation in the National Merit Scholarship Program in recognition of their outstanding academic promise.

Lily Shriner, of Delone, is President of the Interact Club, Student Council Executive Treasurer, a member of the Science and Engineering Fair Club and the Mini-THON Committee. She is also involved in the performing arts and is part of the concert band, county band, chorus and jazz band. Lily is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society, the National English Honor Society, and the National Honor Society. Lily also takes part in advocacy and cleanup for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and is leading a project painting murals of aquatic life near storm drains to raise awareness about stormwater pollution. Lily plans to major in Environmental Science with a minor in Statistics.

Matthew Mercer, of Lancaster Catholic, participates in many in-school activities, including National Honor Society, Writers Anonymous, National Art Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society. He has been a member of the Quiz Bowl Team for the past four years and served as the captain of the team this year. Matthew plays the piano and has participated in the North Museum Science & Engineering Fair. He plans to study Computer Science or Engineering in college.

Sarah Ives of Lancaster Catholic is a member of the Spanish Honor Society and National Honor Society, and is a member of the Ephrata Bowmen Club for compound bow practice. She practices the violin, piano, bass guitar, electric guitar and ukelele outside of the school. Sarah desires to strengthen her faith by attending a Catholic university, majoring in Biochemistry.

Silas Gross, of Trinity, has earned induction into the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society and Foreign Language Honor Society. He holds a leadership role as a Mentor Group Leader for his House within Trinity’s House System. Silas has competed in varsity tennis and performs for Trinity’s Saint Genesius Players, recently holding a lead role in the school’s production of “Cinderella.” Many of his musical skills are self-taught, and he plays the guitar, banjo, mandolin, drums and piano.

Antonio Centenera, of Trinity, has earned membership into the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Foreign Language Honor Society and the Tri-M Music Honor Society. He serves as the Ministry Coordinator for his House within Trinity’s House System. An accomplished pianist, Antonio played Carnegie Hall at the end of his eighth-grade year and founded Trinity’s Saint Cecilia Music Service Club, which brings student musicians to perform at local retirement communities every six weeks. Antonio has competed on the varsity cross-country and track teams, helping to win a District 3 team gold in cross-country in 2021.

Alexandra Arnold, of Trinity, leads her peers as a Mentor Group Leader within Trinity’s House System. She has also captained Trinity’s Quiz Bowl Team and developed her musical talents by playing the trombone in the marching band, where she has served as a section leader. Alexandra also competes on the school’s award-winning Indoor Percussion Team. She has earned membership in the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, National Foreign Language Honor Society and the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

Luis Nguyen, of York Catholic, has served as Student Council President and was involved in boys’ volleyball, the school musical and stage crew and volunteered at Martin Library. Luis will attend Yale University to study Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. His career goal is to work at the Smithsonian Natural Museum of History.

Mary Zelis, of York Catholic, has been involved in Student Council, the soccer team, the school musical, costume crew, ski club, poetry club, the school newspaper and Girl Scouts. Mary will attend Penn State University to study Pre-Med and aspires to become a doctor.

(Photo by Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness.)

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