This 2013-2014, school year Highlands Ranch High School has had two Boettcher finalists, seniors, Francis Commercon and Paul Marchando.
Becoming a Boettcher finalist is a very difficult process because there are 70 finalists that are selected from an initial pool, and only 40 awards are given. “Being a finalist is definitely a huge honor, and to me it’s a sort of validation for all of the hard work I’ve put in to school over the years,” said Marchando.
To become a finalist, you need to submit three letters of recommendation through the scholarship website. Then you have to wait until a committee reviews the application, and you will hopefully get a letter in the mail saying you are a finalist.
Highlands Ranch High School having two Boettcher scholarship winners would be huge for the whole school because that would make HR the only school in Douglas County to have two Boettcher scholarship winners. “We have a true focus on helping our students reach a level of academics, and we push our students to make a difference not only in the school but for the community,” said Mr. Goings, HR principal.
The process in which you find out if you are a finalist can be very stressful, because the news coming could be excellent or disappointing. “I initially didn’t find the email. I thought I hadn’t made it for a couple of very sad hours. And then, when I checked again, the message came through and I was filled suddenly with the most wonderful exuberance. I also feel some pressure. I can’t mess up now,” said Commercon.
Highlands Ranch High School had two finalists and four semifinalists this year that have put heart, dedication, and time into trying to become Boettcher scholarship winners. Most Boettcher winners are top 2% in their class and scored 1440 on the SAT and a 33 on the ACT.
“Now it is just a matter of crossing our fingers, and hoping that they both become Boettcher scholarship winners. Even if they don’t get the scholarship I expect them to have a positive impact on society and others, they are a representation to all students” said Mr. Goings.
Victoria Rockwell, Staff Reporter