Christian Curriculum

RPPS Seniors Achieve Milestones in National Merit Scholarship Program

Kirsten Kuper

Three high school students from Rio Rancho Public Schools have reached an important milestone in the selection process for the National Merit Scholarship Program: Rebecca Pelowitz and Rebecca Skousen of Rio Rancho High School, and Kristen Kuper of Cleveland High.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition in which approximately 1.5 million high school students participate each year across the country. RRPS students have reached the semi-finals or the final; Pelowitz and Shousen advanced to the semifinals, while Kuper is a runner-up.

Only 50,000 applicants with the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores (calculated by doubling the sum of reading, writing, and language and math test scores) are eligible for national program recognition scholarships.

In September 2021, high scorers were notified that they qualified as recommended students or semi-finalists. The three RRPS students qualified as semi-finalists.

In February, Skousen was selected as a finalist.

Merit scholarship winners are chosen from the pool of finalists based on their abilities and accomplishments. A variety of information is available for NMSC assessment, including finalists’ academic records and information about the school’s curriculum and grading system.

Approximately 7,500 winners will be notified by June that they have been selected to receive a merit scholarship. There are three types of merit scholarships: $2,500 national merit scholarships, corporate-sponsored merit scholarships, and college-sponsored merit scholarships.

Here is a small overview of the three RRPS students:

  • Skousen has a cumulative GPA of 4.31, is ranked fourth in her class, and is a member of the National Honor Society. His school activities include marching band, theater and orchestra.

She is also involved in the community with musical theatre, church activities, piano and voice lessons, as well as winning excellence awards in the NYC Midnight Short Story competition and being selected to stand. perform at the Dancing Classrooms Convention.

She plans to go to Brigham Young University in the fall to study creative writing.

  • Kuper is a drum major in the award-winning Storm Regiment band and performs in wind symphonies and jazz bands. She is president and co-founder of the Cleveland Students for Life Club and manages Google Platforms for the National Honor Society.

She is a piano teacher and volunteer at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, as well as the Care Net Pregnancy Center in Rio Rancho. In addition to being a National Merit Semifinalist, her honors include being an All-State Musician and receiving the James Sowell Engineering Scholarship from Texas Tech University, as well as the Presidential Merit Scholarship. .

Kuper plans to attend Texas Tech in the fall to study chemical engineering and be a member of the Goin’ Band of Raiderland Marching Band.

  • Pelowitz has a cumulative GPA of 4.16, is ranked No. 10 in her class, and is a member of the National Honor Society. She is involved in many school activities, such as the marching band and Dungeons and Dragon Club.

She also completed an internship in the information technology department of the RRPS. She participates in the LBYX Foreign Exchange Program, All Saints Lutheran Church Youth Group and Choir, and is a co-founder and co-leader of GSA.

She plans to attend New Mexico State University in the fall to study biochemistry.