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Bishop Garcia High School seniors Jennifer Ortiz, left, and Sally Stevenson have received Commended Student honors from the 2009 National Merit Scholarship Program. (Bishop Garcia High School courtesy photo)

Jennifer Ortiz and Sally Stevenson, seniors at Bishop Garcia Diego High School, have been named Commended Students in the 2009 National Merit Scholarship Program, the principal, Fr. Tom Elewaut, C.J., announced Tuesday.

A Letter of Commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which conducts the program, will be presented to Ortiz and Stevenson at the annual senior awards assembly next June.

Being recognized for their exceptional academic promise are 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation. Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1 million students who entered the 2009 competition by taking the 2007 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

“Our nation’s pursuit of educational excellence can be furthered by publicly honoring these outstanding students and by acknowledging the important role schools play in fostering their development, the NMSC said of Ortiz and Stevenson. “We hope that this recognition will contribute to their educational opportunities and encourage all students to strive to realize their potential.”

Additionally, Bishop Garcia Diego High School released its SAT scores for the class of 2008. The school tested two-thirds of its graduates who achieved higher average scores over countywide public schools. On average, Bishop students achieved a score of 1748 on the SAT, while the state average is 1512 and the national average is 1511. All of the Bishop Garcia Diego High School class of 2008 was accepted to college/university studies.

Debbie Herrera is director of admissions and public relations for Bishop Garcia Diego High School.