National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists represent West Linn’s Arts

West Linn’s vibrant arts program showed its true colors this year as a hotbed of potential when two students involved in the Arts qualified as National Merit Scholar semifinalists. The National Merit Scholarship is an annual academic competition based on scores from the PSAT.  Every year, 50,000 high-scores on the PSAT are selected by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and about two thirds of those are commended for their academic promise.

The remaining third of the high-scores are the semi-finalists. Reed Sturtevant and Miranda James, seniors, qualified as semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition.  15,000 of the semi-finalists go on to be finalists and have the chance to win a $2,500 scholarship and the chance to receive a collegiate or corporate- sponsored scholarship.

Sturtevant, semifinalist, plays an active part in West Linn’s Drama program, and is also an intern at the Northwest Children’s Theatre in Portland.

“In order to really live [a play] and have it be real and in the moment, you have to really have good understanding of the play,” Sturtevant said. Sturtevant’s favorite classes are Independent Study Playwriting and Honors Law A. Sturtevant participates in the West Linn Choir program, as well. He wants to attend a college to study theatre and become an actor or a theatre educator.

James, semifinalist, is also involved in the arts at West Linn. She plays violin in the Orchestra and is a member of Young Advocates for Peace. Her favorite classes include AP English and Orchestra.

“All sorts of people inspire me. Really great teachers, like [Barbara] Murray, [Todd] Jones, and [Michael] Glane to name only a few have really impressed me,” James said.  James is interning as a courier at Providence Willamette Falls Hospital where she assists with patient discharge.

“I’m volunteering there because it’s something I’ve never done and it seemed like a great experience. I’m trying new things and working with people in a new way,” James said.

James wants to become a Fantasy Fiction author and is influenced by Terry Pratchett who has written the popular “Discworld” Fantasy Fiction Novels.

Sturtevant and James will be notified in February if they have been selected as National Merit Scholar Finalists.