SPRINGFIELD, NJ - After being announced as New Jersey semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholar competition, two Jonathan Dayton students got their moment in the limelight at Monday's Springfield Board of Education (BOE) meeting.

Seniors Lillian Friedman and Becca Smith were both announced during the superintendent's report, after which they stood for a round of applause from board members and others in attendance.

After they were both honored, Friedman and Smith spoke with TAPinto about the honor.

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It's very exciting for me," Freidman said. 'You don't necessarily think about these things when you're walking into a test, but when you hear about it, it's just really exciting.

"It feels nice to be honored and I think our school is a lovely community that deserves representation. It's nice that Becca and I are here and I think I can speak for both of us when I say we're both excited to be honored in this way."

Smith also piggybacked off of Friedman's thought's and added her own on the matter.

"It is exciting that both Lillian and I get to represent our amazing school and show everything that the teachers and everyone here have taught us on a national level," Smith said, echoing Friedman's answer. "So it's exciting and we hope that the scholarship works out in our favor."

Besides their educational prowess, both students are engaged in extracurricular activities outside the classroom. For Friedman, her main activity is theater. She spoke about her work in the school's annual fall drama.

"This year we're doing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime in November, "Friedman said. "And I've been an avid participant in the drama since my freshman year. And I think it's really nice to participate in theater through the school, with a lovely group of kids, ad a talented group [as well]."

And for Smith, who plays volleyball for Dayton, the opportunity to prove she can balance academics and athletics is a major chance she di not let slip away.

"I think that both playing volleyball and working hard academically, I think they work well together," Smith said. "it's the same kind of skills, being motivated and working hard. So I love being a part of the volleyball team. I love the team, I love the sport, so yeah, it's been a big part of my high school career, so I'm glad I get to represent s a volleyball player also."