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8 SENIORS ARE NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP FINALISTS HONORS BASED ON PUPILS' SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVEMENT.

Byline: Daily News

Eight local high school seniors have been named finalists for the highly competitive National Merit Scholar awards, placing them in the top 1 percent of college-bound students in the nation.

This year's finalist are Jeffrey Amelang, Thomas Chen, Petar Sladic and Michael Abreu from Hart High School; Amy Danowitz from Saugus High; Quan Gan and Lauren Weiner from Valencia High; and Matthew Hitzeroth from Canyon High.

Finalists are selected on the basis of their results on the Preliminary Scholarship Aptitude Test, taken in their junior year, and continuing scholastic achievement during their senior year.

Amelang was instrumental in founding the Robotics Club on the Hart campus and has promoted the concept of an honors physics class with a robotics curriculum. He has extended the outreach of the robotics program into two local sixth-grade classes.

Chen holds a grade-point average of 4.69 and ranks second in a class of 542 seniors, while participating in the most rigorous academic schedule available to Hart students.

Sladic ranks first in his class with a grade-point average of 4.71. He is on the Hart cross-country and track teams, and is considered a great motivator for his teammates.

Abreu is Hart's top-scoring student in the National Merit Scholarship competition. He is a two-year volunteer with Safe Rides, represented Hart in the Brainstormer competition and serves as tutoring director for the French Honor Society.

Danowitz has been on the Saugus High School Academic Decathlon team for two years and has won eight medals in competition. She also serves on the Saugus Speech Team, which she represented at the state level this spring.

Gan is a member of the National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation and serves on the Valencia High School yearbook staff as computer editor and Club Division editor.

Weiner coaches girls' softball for Hart Little League and is a tutor at SCORE, a local tutoring program. She has been accepted at the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Oregon.

Hitzeroth is involved in swimming, track and concert choir at Canyon High. He has been accepted at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he attended an invitational summer workshop last year.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 22, 2002
Words:373
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