Scholarship Semifinalists

Forty-five Howard County students were among the 16,000 semifinalists recently announced in the 50th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

They are: Isha Agarwal, Daniel J. Cahn, David S. Chen, Anoi Lu, Julia A. Mehoke, Samra Zelman and Christina Y. Zhang from River Hill High School; Peter S. Choe, Kelsey Elder and Yakir A. Reshief from Atholton High; Adam M. Bouland and Erin L. Earp from Hammond High; Andrew R. Patrick and Alison M. Tarwater from Long Reach High; Nicholas T. Hopkins and Jessica R. Rennenkampf from Oakland Mills High; and Hillary K. Finucane from Wilde Lake High.

Semifinalists from Howard County also include: Laura V. Anderson, Andrew E. Bluher, Xeuwei Cheng, David B. Childers, Anna R. Lee, Ron Lee, Yunjie Li, Zhuoyan Li, Marin Lolic, Renfel P. Luo, Joseph C. McCord, Jesse E. Rohwer, Victoria J. Sauler, Shuai Shao, Sylvia M. Shi, Xi Yang, Grace C. Yeh and Richard Zhu from Centennial High; Robert P. Guseman from Howard High; Sarah L. Grady, Rachel B. Herman, Ji H. Shin, and Timothy S. Shneier from Mount Hebron High; Jack H. Goodman from Glenelg Country School; Melissa L. Edgerton, Mary F. Novak and Zachary J. Stanton from Glenelg High; and Elisabeth R. Corbalis, home-schooled, Woodbine.

The seniors can continue in the competition for more than 8,000 scholarship awards worth $33.9 million that will be offered next spring.

McDonald's to Aid Fund

From 5 to 8 p.m. Monday McDonald's will set aside 25 percent of sales at its 16 Howard County locations for the fund created to raise money for lights at high school athletic fields in the county.

Howard High, which has had lights since the mid-1970s, is the only high school allowed to host night games. Lights have also been installed at River Hill, Oakland Mills and Mount Hebron high schools, but the School Board will not allow them to be used until enough money has been raised to place lights at all county high schools.

The county is about $30,000 short of its $1 million fundraising goal, said Don Disney, the county's coordinator of athletics.

Candidates Forum Set

A forum for Howard County Board of Education candidates will be held at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday at Slayton House in the Wilde Lake Village Center, 10451 Twin Rivers Rd., Columbia.

The forum is being sponsored by the Columbia west-side villages of Dorsey's Search, Harper's Choice, Hickory Ridge, River Hill, Town Center and Wilde Lake.

Appearing will be Frank J. Aquino, Diane B. Mikulis and Mary Kay Sigaty, who are vying for two seats on the board in the Nov. 2 election.

Student to Tout Schools

Mike Waschak, a student at Howard Community College and graduate of Atholton High School, was one of four students chosen to be part of a new state Department of Education public service campaign.

During a 30-second public service announcement, to be aired on Comcast cable during the 2004-05 school year, he will share his story of success in Maryland public schools.

The campaign is part of a new initiative, "Pride: Maryland Public Schools," that aims to promote the state's 24 public school systems.

Waschak, who has Down syndrome, was asked to be part of the campaign because of his work ethic and dedication to learning while earning the respect of his peers, according to the Department of Education. He was one of five students at Atholton chosen to be speakers at graduation.

For more information about the state's initiative, visit

School Gets Blue Ribbon

Centennial Lane Elementary School in Ellicott City was selected as a national No Child Left Behind/Blue Ribbon School, one of six in the state.

The honor is part of a national and state program that recognizes high performing schools or schools that improve in reading and mathematics as measured by the Maryland School Assessments.

The 2004 MSA reading results showed that 94.9 percent of Centennial Lane's third-graders, 99.1 percent of its fourth-graders and 97.4 percent of its fifth-graders scored at the proficient level or above.

In math, 90.5 percent of third-graders, 95.5 percent of fourth-graders and 95.7 percent of fifth-graders scored at that level or higher.

-- Compiled by ALICIA CYPRESS

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