Two Loudoun County students have received $2,500 National Merit scholarships: William M. Angley III of Leesburg, a graduate of Loudoun County High School, and Katherine G. Mims of Potomac Falls, a graduate of Potomac Falls High School. The award is based on performance on the PSAT test, which is taken in the fall of a student's junior year.

Angley plans to study computer sciences. Mims plans to take a year off and attend Harvard University in 2005.

Aleta R. Sprague of Warrenton has received a college-sponsored merit scholarship from New York University. Colleges pick recipients from among the finalists in the nationwide competition who plan to attend their institution. The awards are $500 to $2,000 annually for as many as four years of undergraduate study.

Sprague, a graduate of Wakefield School in The Plains, plans to study journalism.

Four Loudoun County High School students have been honored by New Voices for the Theater, a competition for young playwrights and actors.

Molly Coyle and Jackson Thompson won top honors in the acting part of the competition, and Andrew Backenstoss and Caroline McEntee received honorable mentions. Coyle, Thompson and Backenstoss took part in a three-week voice training program in Richmond this month.

Six local residents are among 212 students selected to be Pamplin Leaders for the 2004-05 year at Virginia Tech. The Pamplin Leader award is a $1,000 tuition scholarship presented annually to one student from each of Virginia's public high schools. The students must have at least a 3.75 grade point average or be ranked in the top 10 percent of their class.

Students are required to attend a lecture on leadership in the fall and spring semesters of their freshman year and return to their high schools to present the succeeding winners with the Pamplin Leader award.

Local recipients are: Amber Garib of Purcellville, a graduate of Loudoun Valley High School; Brian Colleran of Ashburn, a graduate of Broad Run High School; Joshua Burnheimer of Ashburn, a graduate of Stone Bridge High School; Kristen Linn of Sterling, a graduate of Potomac Falls High School; Randy Coggin Jr. of Warrenton, a graduate of Fauquier High School; and Jamie Farnsworth of Bealeton, a graduate of Liberty High School.

For the second consecutive year, Community College Week magazine has ranked Northern Virginia Community College as the top producer of business degrees among two-year degree-granting institutions in the United States. NVCC also jumped from 11th to seventh in the overall number of degrees conferred.

NVCC also was the fifth-highest producer of communication technology and technician degrees and ranked 13th in issuing degrees to minorities.

-- Compiled by LESLIE SHEPHERD