Allegan County's 2015 National Merit semi-finalists announced

Allegan County students Melanie Kanine, Jacob Reaume of Hamilton and Taylor Slais of Saugatuck have been named National Merit Scholarship Competition Semi-finalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The students are among 16,000 semi-finalists chosen nationwide to compete for 7,600 Merit scholarship awards worth a total of approximately $33 million. Winners will be selected in the spring of 2015. About 90 percent of semi-finalists can expect to become finalists, and approximately half of the finalists will receive scholarship awards.

To become semi-finalists, the students had the highest scores in their geographic regions on the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Local students who were recognized as 2015 National Merit Commended Students include Plainwell High School’s Ashley Pepple and Alec Waples-Dexter and Saugatuck High School’s Ivy Gibson.

Melanie Kanine

Kanine, 17, is the daughter of Amy Modlin of Holland and David Kanine of Allegan.

The Hamilton High School senior participates in volunteer club and tutored middle school students.

Kanine has also participated in varsity volleyball and is a member of National Honor Society, Quiz Bowl and Science Olympiad.

Currently dual enrolling at Hope College, Kanine has maintained a 4.0 GPA through­out high school.

After graduation, she plans on studying either astrophysics or English language arts at Florida Tech or the University of Michigan.

Jacob Reaume

Reaume, 17, is the son of Sherry Reaume of Hamilton and Ricky Reaume of White Cloud.

The Hamilton High School senior participates in volunteer club, tennis, quiz bowl and debate.

Reaume is also a member of National Honor Society, Science Olympiad and the Hawks Tutoring program.

After graduation, Reaume said he plans on studying chemical engineering with a focus on renewable energy. He is undecided on where he is going but is interested in both the University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie Mellon University.

Taylor Slais

Slais, 17, is the daughter of Tracy and Timothy Slais of Fennville.

The Saugatuck High School senior has participated in dance for 14 years, including tap, competition, pointe and ballet. She has been a sugar plum fairy in the The Dance Asylum’s Nut­cracker production for two years.

Slais has also volunteered at the Waterfront Film Festi­val and Christian Neighbors and is a member of National Honor Society, band and Youth in Government.

She plans to attend a four-year university after graduation.



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