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Names to remember: Phoenix Union students selected for academic awards


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  • Craig Pletenik/Phoenix Union High School District

Magda Rodriguez And Eli Carreon Were Named College Board National Hispanic Recognition Scholars. Photo Courtesy Phoenix Union HIgh School District

North High School’s Jackson Carpenter and Hugo Crick Furman were named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program, and Cordell Michaud was a National Merit Scholarship Commended student.

Names to remember: Phoenix Union students selected for academic awards North-High-School-Students-Award2-300x200

Magda Rodriguez and Eli Carreon were named College Board National Hispanic Recognition Scholars. Photo courtesy Phoenix Union HIgh School District

Magda Rodriguez and Eli Carreon were named College Board National Hispanic Recognition Scholars.

These academic awards were based on results from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

All are seniors in the International Baccalaureate program at North.

National Merit semifinalists qualify by being among the highest-scoring entrants in each state in the 2015 PSAT/NMSQT.

The 16,000 semifinalists this year represent less than one percent of the 1.5 million juniors from over 22,000 high schools who take the PSAT.

National Merit Finalists are highly coveted as prospective students to every college and university in the country.

National Merit Scholarship Commended students represent about 34,000 of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT, and receive letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise.

About 90% of National Merit Scholarship semifinalists become finalists, according to the NMSC.

Names to remember: Phoenix Union students selected for academic awards Phoenix-North-High-SChool-Award-300x200

North High School’s Jackson Carpenter and Hugo Crick Furman were named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program, and Cordell Michaud was a National Merit Scholarship Commended student. Photo courtesy Phoenix Union High School District

Since 1990, North High has had 96 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists and finalists and 123 Commended students.

National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars are among the top 5,000 scorers among the 250,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors who take the test.

The NHRP program is an academic honor that can be included on college applications.

It’s not a scholarship, but colleges do use this program to identify academically exceptional Hispanic/Latino students.

Student Profiles

Jackson Carpenter, National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist

Carpenter helped his chances as a National Merit semifinalist by scoring a perfect 800 on the PSAT math exam last fall.

His favorite subjects are math, “a language consistent across the globe,” and physics, because it connects with his love of math.

He also enjoys playing clarinet in the North Marching Band and Symphonic Band, and has been a member of the District and Regional Honor Band the last two years.

He is a member of the North Film Society, National Honors Society and competes in math competitions.

Carpenter volunteers at Longview Neighborhood Recreation Center in the summers.

He has six colleges he is considering, with ASU, MIT and Princeton among his top picks.

He wants to major in math, and become a mathematician, a math teacher, or have a career focusing on physics and engineering.

His father, Jack Carpenter, is a World History teacher at North High.

Hugo Crick Furman, National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist

Furman is one of just three seniors in International Baccalaureate High Level Math at North, but his interests are wide and varied.

He has performed in 13 plays for North Drama, and Valley Youth Theatre.

He will star in “War of the Worlds,” North’s fall production.

He is an expert in origami, a juggler, throws playing cards and owns 1,373 yo-yos.

His mother is British, and he lived in England for eight years before coming to Phoenix, where he attended Loma Linda School in the Creighton District.

He wants to major in theatre, and minor in linguistics, and either attend a theatre school in London or New York.

A French student for four years, he can also speak Welsh and is learning Polish.

Cordell Michaud, National Merit Scholarship Commended student

Michaud is ranked #2 in the senior class.  He has been the president of the North Cyborgs Robotics club for two years and was the lead programmer as a sophomore.

His favorite class was a robotics seminar, where he learned the fundamentals of robotics, such as design, mechanical and electrical skills, and has taught his classmates and other teenagers programming on Saturdays.

He created and led a summer program teaching robotics fundamentals at Burton Barr Library.

He also taught his pre-calculus class when his teacher was absent for two weeks.

“I made sure everyone became comfortable with the content and were progressing.”

Robotics will remain his field of study and career. Michaud wants to play a developmental role in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

His career interests also include software development, data scientist and analyst, and machine learning engineer.

He is considering Stanford, Cal-Berkeley, Harvey Mudd, Caltech, Washington and Carnegie Mellon and will be the first in his family to attend college, along with his twin brother, an IB student who wants to go to Emery Riddle.

Magda Rodriguez, College Board National Hispanic Recognition Scholars

Rodriguez loves the arts and theatre, not only to express herself, but as a de-stressor.

She has been an actress and a crew member for several school plays.

She has also helped girls in her community stay out of trouble by helping with an afterschool theatre program.

The four-year French student who medaled in the National French Exam, is also the French Club president.

She is the Spanish Club vice president, Drama Club treasurer and a member of the International Thespian Society.

She says she wants to work in the fast-paced corporate world, and is interested in international business, or law.

A first generation college-goer who began learning English at 5 years old, she is considering Yale, Columbia, Wellesley, New York Univ., Barnard, Tulane, ASU and Arizona.

Eli Carreon, College Board National Hispanic Recognition Scholars

Carreon learned as a wrestler to cope with failure and that there is always someone better than you at something.

He is quite good at a lot of things.  His favorite course is pre-calculus, and then physics.

He is also taking High Level IB math.

He is involved in North Robotics and drama, and he wants to become an engineer or physicist, “something heavy in science and math.”

Carreon volunteers at Longview Recreation Center during the summer, working with kids, 6-12 years old.

He says he wants to continue his mother’s legacy of going to college, and do important humanitarian deeds when he gets older.

Carreon wants to study aerospace or mechanical engineering in college, which could be Caltech, MIT, Stanford, Cal-Berkeley, Georgia Tech, Emory Riddle or ASU.