BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ- The National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSQT) has announced its Class of 2021 commended students, recognizing seven Governor Livingston seniors: Matthew Chin, Caitlin Dougherty, Zachary Glenn, Desmond Lam, Aidan Pine, Joshua Vaidman, and Richard Wetterer.

Each year about 50,000 students across the country earn the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores. 34,000 of those 50,000 students are named commended students making them eligible for corporation and business sponsored scholarships. Only two percent of all students who take this exam are recognized. 

“The National Merit Scholarship Program began in 1955 and is one of the most academically competitive programs for recognition and scholarships,” said Ashley Janosko, Governor Livingston’s Director of Guidance.

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The commended students were happy to hear of their accomplishment, including Wetterer, who is excited about earning this title because of the opportunities it will bring. 

“Practicing these standardized tests has helped me to pursue more academic opportunities involving similar questions and thought-processes, which is significantly more useful and exciting than the title ‘commended student’,” he said.

Doughterty, who is the only female to be recognized in the group, also appreciates the notoriety of this accomplishment

“It's really nice to have an accolade that is nationally recognized. When I add it to my college applications, schools know exactly what it means and what they can expect from me because of it,” Dougherty said.

This accolade is not only a great addition to these students' resumes, but is also a constant reminder that hard work and dedication brings rewards.

The administrators at the school were just as enthusiastic as the students when they learned of these students’ accomplishments. Accordingly, they would have liked to celebrate alongside the students. But the current restrictions due to the pandemic have prohibited these plans.

Principal Rob Nixon said, “Traditionally, we enjoy breakfast and a ceremony together to celebrate the great accomplishment of these terrific students. While we are disappointed to miss out on this opportunity, I am extremely proud of their hard work and wish them the best of luck as they complete their education at Governor Livingston High School.”