From left, Abby Aleshire of Scarborough, Ian McClure-Chute of Portland, Emily Wagg of Portland, Valerie Geldenhuys of Saco and Eva Abbott of Cape Elizabeth earned National Merit honors. Contributed

Waynflete announces National Merit Scholar semi-finalists

Waynflete was recently recognized by the National Merit Scholarship program as having the highest number of scholars in greater Portland based on enrollment.

Seniors Eva Abbott of Cape Elizabeth, Abby Aleshire of Scarborough, Valerie Geldenhuys of Saco and Emily Wagg of Portland were named as semi-finalists. Ian McClure-Chute of Portland was named as a commended student.

Semi-finalists are named based on preliminary SAT scores from their junior year. To become finalists, students must demonstrate outstanding academic performance during their high school years. They must be recommended by their school’s headmaster or principal and earn standardized test scores that corroborate their preliminary SAT results. Semifinalists must also complete a detailed scholarship application form that includes a personal essay, demonstrated leadership skills and participation in school and community activities. Fewer than 1% of high school seniors are eligible to become National Merit semi-finalists. 7,600 National Merit scholarships worth more than $31 million will be awarded to finalists.

MAMM honors Van West as community leader

Maine Academy of Modern Music announced the recipient of its 2019 Chords for Kids “Rock Stars In Our Communities” Music Community Leader Award will be Jenny Van West of the Immigrant Music Connection.

Awardees will be honored on Nov. 22 at MAMM’s scholarship gala at Aura in Portland.

Van West of Portland founded the Immigrant Music Connection, which provides instruments, music instruction and performance opportunities, and builds community for and with recent immigrants in Portland.

Additionally, Van West runs the International Open Mic series at Mayo Street Arts and supports the Immigrant Music Connection Band, an international immigrant-run musical performing group.

“Music speaks a universal language, and we are lucky to know someone like Jenny who champions such vital opportunities for our community members to gather around and celebrate in a welcoming and supportive setting,” MAMM Board President Alisan Kavookjian said.