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For Immediate Release — September 15, 2008 | HQ
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | (703) 588-3260
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | (703) 588-3265

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — September 15, 2008 — Five Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) students were named as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

The students, who are high school seniors, have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,200 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $35 million that will be offered in Spring 2009. The DoDEA students were part of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists selected for the National Merit Scholarship Program, now in its 54th year.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition, including taking the 2007 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) which serves as an initial screen of program entrants.

DoDEA National Merit Semifinalists are:

  • Christine E. Ashton, Wiesbaden High School, Wiesbaden, Germany
  • Lauren E. Wolfe, Kadena High School, Okinawa, Japan
  • Bruce W. Pfirrmann, Nile C. Kinnick High School, Yokosuka, Japan
  • Michael E. Newman, Osan American High School, Osan, South Korea
  • Christopher B. Wilson, George C. Marshall School, Ankara, Turkey

To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test. The Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student's self-descriptive essay and information about the Semifinalist's participation and leadership in school and community activities.

Approximately 15,000 Semifinalists are expected to advance to the Finalist level and all National Merit Scholarship winners will be chosen from this group. Three types of National Merit Scholarship awards will be offered in Spring 2009. National Merit Scholarship winners for 2009 will be announced in four news releases from April through July.

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

For more information about the National Merit Scholarship Program, visit their website at:

DoDEA HQ Office of Communications

4800 Mark Center Dr.
Alexandria, VA 22350-1400

The DoDEA Communications Office initiates and manages DoDEA's communications and outreach efforts worldwide. The office coordinates press relations, internal information programs and communication with students, parents, teachers, school administrators and the public.

The HQ Communications Office:

Issues news releases and media advisories about DoDEA initiatives, employees and programs Produces video and television promotional and informational products marketed worldwide Maintains the DoDEA web site Designs printed promotional and informational material and graphic artwork to accompany publications, promotions and initiatives

Area Communications Offices: