Archive for Wednesday, April 16, 2008

3 students receive National Merit Scholarships

April 16, 2008


National Merit Corporate Scholarship

Three Lawrence high school seniors are among the first round of National Merit Scholarship winners, the corporation announced today.

Erin Thimmesch, of Lawrence High School, Martin Blanchard, of Bishop Seabury Academy, and Justine Ahle, of Free State High School, all attributed credit to others for their academic achievements.

"We have some fantastic teachers," Thimmesch said.

Her scholarship is funded by Payless ShoeSource Inc. Her father, Dan Thimmesch, is the company's director of international accounting. Her mother is Sara Thimmesch.

Erin Thimmesch plans to study pre-medicine in the fall. She's considering attending Washington University in St. Louis.

Ahle's award is sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive Co., which includes Hill's Pet Nutrition in Topeka.

She plans to study pre-pharmacy in the fall, and she's leaning toward Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

"My parents definitely have encouraged me and supported me and sometimes pushed me when I needed it. All the teachers at Free State are great, pretty much the entire staff," Ahle said.

She is the daughter of Neil Ahle and Kathryn Cook. He is the medical director at Hill's Pet Nutrition.

The Unilever United States Foundation's aid-to-education program sponsored Blanchard's scholarship. His father, Gary, is a machine operator for Unilever in the Kansas City area. His mother is Chris Blanchard.

Martin Blanchard also credited the smaller classes at Bishop Seabury for his success.

"From a standpoint of academic achievement, I think it was just the right environment for me," he said.

Blanchard plans to study either pre-medicine or political science, but he's still deciding on which college to attend.

Corporate organizations generally provide these scholarships for National Merit Scholar finalists who are children of employees, residents of communities the company serves or for students who plan to pursue majors in the company's field.

A total of 20 Lawrence seniors were named National Merit Scholar finalists earlier this year. The National Merit Scholarship Corp. will announce more winners later this year.


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