3 Gain National Merit Commended Status

Ian Cummings, Tyler Einolf and Sierra Lee each receive a Letter of Commendation for their high PSAT scores
Posted on 09/20/2019
QCHS seniors Tyler Einolf (second from left), Sierra Lee and Ian Cummings stand with Principal Mattias van't Hoenderdaal (right) and Assistant Principal Jennifer Carolla. By Gary Weckselblatt

Three Quakertown Community High School seniors are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise by the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Ian Cummings, Tyler Einolf and Sierra Lee each received a Letter of Commendation for their outstanding performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test in 2018.

Earlier this month, Melissa Nong was recognized for qualifying as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist. Having four students recognized by National Merit matches last year’s record for one class when Mikayla Fuentes and Adria Retter were Finalists and Nam Le and Hailey Reiss were Commendable.

“These accomplishments are a testament to the hard work of our students, and the outstanding job our teachers are doing in the classroom,” Principal Mattias van't Hoenderdaal said. “Ian, Tyler and Sierra have worked very hard for this, and they are making an impact both in our school community and outside this building. They are developing themselves into responsible adults and will have wonderful opportunities. I believe more and more of our students will challenge themselves and follow these examples.”

All three Commendable students scored above 1,400 on the PSAT. In addition, Sierra achieved a 1,550 on the SAT while Ian reached 1,530 and plans to take it again. Tyler scored 35 out of 36 on the ACT.

Each student said they put in a lot of hard work to gain Commendable status and believe their peers can attain these types of scores. “Just be passionate about it,” Ian said. “Put in the time, take the practice tests and analyze the results. Good things will happen.”

The high-achieving students have taken advantage of the 28 Advanced Placement classes QCHS has to choose from. Ian is taking AP Biology, Computer Science, Government, Literature, and Physics. He’s also taking a Calculus 3 course at DeSales University. Tyler is taking AP Environmental Science, European History, Government, Literature and Statistics. Sierra is taking AP Biology, Calculus BC, Government, Literature and Spanish Literature.

Each student is on a varsity sports team and heavily involved in school clubs. Ian runs track and is a member of Student Council, Key Club, Math Club and National Honor Society. Tyler is a two-time captain of the swim team, also plays volleyball, and is a member of NHS and the Naval Sea Cadet Corps. Sierra is on the tennis team and plays travel soccer with the Quakertown Soccer Club. She is co-President of Student Council, a member of Key Club and Best Buddies.

While she’s unsure of her college major or future career, Sierra is interested in sciences and humanities. She plans to apply to the University of Chicago, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Ian said he will study engineering. His top college choices are Cambridge and MIT. He also plans to apply to Drexel, Rochester Institute of Technology, UC Berkeley and Pitt. With his sister Alexandra, a QCHS grad studying architecture at Thomas Jefferson University, Ian believes they could eventually partner in an architectural and engineering firm.

Tyler is all about the Army, and is hoping to attend the United States Military Academy. Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner, a graduate of the USMA and 20-year Army veteran, has written a letter of recommendation on Tyler’s behalf.

More than 1.6 million students took the 2018 Preliminary SAT a year ago. The 50,000 highest scorers are being recognized. Approximately 16,000 of those high performers were recently designated National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists. The next 34,000 achieve Commended Student status.

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.
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