Morgan Gass

Bellingham Public Schools has two semifinalists and 11 commended students in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Competition. To qualify for the competition, students took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) during the 2016-17 school year.

Bellingham High School student Brynna Kilcline and Sehome High student Tadeusz Pforte are semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. For a semifinalist to become a finalist, a student must have an excellent academic record throughout high school, be recommended by the principal, submit a scholarship application and receive SAT scores that match the student’s performance on the PSAT/NMSQT. Finalists will be announced in winter 2018.

District commended students are Bellingham High School’s Kieran Dang and Madeline Domico; Sehome High School’s Daniel Gibson, Nikhil Harle, Charles Herron, Jefferey Nestor, Nicole Schroeter and William Zhang; and Squalicum High School’s Samuel Clark, Madeline Sloan and Lila Steffan. Commended students will no longer continue in the competition, but placed in the top five percent of students who entered the competition, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. They receive a letter for their academic honor.

Click here for more information about the National Merit Scholarship Program.

In another national recognition program, Bellingham High student Morgan Gass received the 2017-18 National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) certificate. Every year, the NHRP identifies 5,000 outstanding Hispanic/Latino high school students who are selected from the pool taking the PSAT/NMSQT in October of their junior year. Students must also have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. In September of their senior year, they receive an academic certificate and can add the academic distinction/designation to their college applications. For more information about the National Hispanic Recognition Program, please visit


Photo 1: Morgan Gass, National Hispanic Recognition

Photo 2: Brynna Kilcline, National Merit Semifinalist, Bellingham High School

Photo 3: Tadeusz Pforte, National Merit Semifinalist, Sehome High School

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