Etcetera - 10/08/10

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The National Merit Scholarship Program tapped three DeSales Catholic High School students for honors.

We previously reported that Peter Vander Griend was named a 2011 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist. He will compete with approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 56th annual National Merit Scholarship Program in spring for one of 8,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $36 million.

The National Merit Scholarship Program honors the nation's scholastic champions and encourages the pursuit of academic excellence, a press release said.

Peter is the son of Janice and Loren Vander Griend. The full-time DeSales student also takes calculus III at Whitman College, is captain of the DeSales Knowledge Bowl team and a member of the track team.

In addition, the program named DeSales students Danni Hall and Kincaid Schmitz as Commended Students for placing in the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2011 competition. They took the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship qualifying test.

Danni is the daughter of Terry and Maureen Hall. She is active in student government, Knowledge Bowl and track at DeSales.

Kincaid's parents are David and Polly Schmitz and Sarah Blatter. He plays football and baseball and is on the Knowledge Bowl team.

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Walla Walla High School National Honor Society members are planning a "Breath for Life" youth track meet from 1-4 p.m. Oct. 17 at Martin Field in Walla Walla for kindergarteners through fifth-graders. The entry fee is $3.

Proceeds will support Cystic Fibrosis research and Wa-Hi's National Honor Society program. Adult and student volunteers are needed in support of the track meet. Donations are also being accepted, according to the Sept. 28 online Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review.

"National Honor Society students feel strongly this is a worthy cause that fulfills our mission of community service," said Wa-Hi English teacher Karen Peddicord, NHS advisor.

"We are offering another positive and healthy activity for youth in the Walla Walla valley. Youth can have fun while we raise money for a very worthy cause."

There will be 50-meter, 1-mile, 50-meter hurdles, 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters events and softball throw, javelin, long jump.

Students may participate in as many events as they want.

Participation ribbons will be awarded as well as first-, second-and third-place honors.

For more information, contact Karen at 527-3020 ext. 4622 or e-mail at kpeddicord@wwps.org .

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