Sara Bourne, daughter of Catherine Minick, has been selected for candidacy for three prestigious academic awards because of her outstanding achievements and progress during her academic career.
Bourne was one out of 45 students in the state of North Dakota, and the only student in Rugby, to be selected as a U.S. Presidential Scholars candidate. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize the nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Each year, 4,500 seniors are selected as candidates and up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars.
Bourne was also selected as a National Merit Scholarship Finalist as part of the National Merit Scholarship Program, an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. Students enter the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.
In early September, Bourne was notified that she was one out of about 16,000 students to qualify as a semifinalist based on her PSAT score. In February, Bourne was selected as a finalist, one out of 15,000.
Approximately 7,500 finalists will be selected as Merit Scholarship award recipients and will be notified beginning in March and continuing through mid-June.
In addition, Bourne was named as one of 10 Class B division students for the 2017 North Dakota Academic All-State Gold Team. High school seniors are nominated by their principals and compete for this honor on a statewide basis in both Class A and Class B divisions. Students are selected based on overall grade point averages, ACT or SAT scores, extracurricular activities, community involvement and leadership qualities.
Bourne will receive a certificate of merit by the North Dakota Association of Secondary School Principals, as well as a medallion presented by WDAY and Forum Communications during a televised "Parade of Academic Champions" at the Class B Boys Basketball Tournament in Minot on Friday, March 17, according to a recent press release by NDASSP.
"It's really exciting to be recognized," Bourne said of her accomplishments. "I have always kept really good grades, and my mom has always reminded me that good grades are important."
As a member of FBLA, Student Council and the National Honor Society, Bourne puts great emphasis on her academics.
"[Education] has played a large role in my life. I think it is important that children learn the value and importance of education and academics at an early age," she said.
Bourne hopes that her academic accomplishments will encourage RHS to offer the PSAT in the future so that other students will have the same opportunities that she has had.
According to Bourne, the support of her teachers has pushed her to succeed both academically and personally. "Something really special about being in a small school is that you form close relationships with your teachers," she said. "There's always been a lot of support there."