Merit honors for seven students


TWO STUDENTS at Arundel High School, Jason Oakley and Adam Oaks, have been named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition.

Each year, more than a million high school juniors take the qualifying test. Those scoring the highest, fewer than 1 percent, are designated semifinalists at the start of their senior year. This year, seven students in Anne Arundel County received that honor. At Arundel High, it is becoming almost a tradition. This is at least the third consecutive year that the school has had two semifinalists.

Jason has been involved in the It's Academic program at Arundel. He also is an active member of Boy Scout Troop 115 and is senior patrol leader this year, the highest elected youth position in the troop.

As a high school senior, Jason is busy making college plans; the Military Academy appeals to him. His father, Jay Oakley, is a West Point graduate. Asked whether the Naval Academy in Annapolis was an option, Jason replied strongly, "No."

Adam has enjoyed working on Arundel's school newspaper, The Spectrum. This year, he also has been active on the cross-country team and in the chess club. In college, he would like to study engineering or biology.

He is looking at many universities; Cornell is among his favorites.

Also honored in this year's National Merit Scholarship program was Arundel's Sarah Valdes, who was named a National Hispanic Scholar finalist.

Helping in Appalachia

In August, 30 young people from Crofton's Community United Methodist Church spent a week in Leslie County, Ky., roofing homes, repairing floors, putting up drywall, building a wheelchair ramp, and -- amid all the work -- having fun.

The trip was part of the church's Appalachian Service Project. But it was more than a weeklong effort. For months beforehand, the young people prepared for the project by meeting to plan their work, develop technical skills, and raise funds for the trip.

That process is beginning again. The first meeting to organize next summer's trip will be held at the church, on Reidel Road in Crofton, at 5 p.m. Sunday. Young people from ninth grade through college are invited to attend and learn more about the program.

Information: Susan Fugate at 410-451-4511 or Steve Beegle at 410-721-0627.

Sprechen sie Deutsch?

The Christian German-American Women's Group will meet at noon Mondayin the blue room of the Chapel Center on Grandea Avenue in Fort Meade. The group meets to practice the German language in a social atmosphere.

After a period of prayer, the group eats lunch and then sings, accompanied by Heidi Zeich on the piano.

New members are welcome. Information: Irene Kucholik, 301-621-7862, or Lisa Beilke, 301-604-5880.

Craftspeople sought for fair

The Arundel High School Key Club and Forensics Club will sponsor a holiday craft fair Dec. 11 at the school, on Route 175 in Gambrills.

Tables for the popular holiday event are available to craftspeople for $30. Information: Carol Myers, 410-923-6677.

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