Second cousins and 2014 Vinton-Shellsburg High School classmates Luke Moen and Jacob Isbell recently learned that they have been named among the 15,000 National Merit Scholarship finalists.

Of the 1.5 million top students across the nation who qualified for the program, Luke and Jacob are among the top 1 percent.

Finalists are chosen based on academic record, skills, and accomplishments.

"We are very proud of Luke and Jacob for their hard work, dedication, and effort throughout their four years at V-S High School," said Principal Matt Kingsbury. "Please congratulate these two individuals on this great achievement."

Kingsbury noted that even being named a semi-finalist is a rare honor, and having two finalists in one graduating class is a great achievement for VSHS.

Luke and Jacob now qualify to potentially receive national, corporate, and college-sponsored scholarships

Luke, the son of Sam and Jennie Moen of Vinton, plans to attend college, hopefully Washington University in St. Louis, with a Pre-Med Major. His activities include baseball.

Jacob, the son of Jake and Sherri Isbell of Vinton, plans to major in physics at the University of Chicago. He participates in band and cross country, and was one of the drummers for the 2013 Jazz Band that went to the State Championships.

“These are two very good role models,” says Kingsbury.

More about the National Merit Scholarship program

Last year, approximately 1.5 million of the top students planning to graduate in 2014 took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test

Of the 15,000 who became finalists; 2,500 of them will receive a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship. Also, the finalists will qualify for more scholarships at many universities.

After being named semi-finalists, the next step in the process for Luke and Jacob was writing essays. School officials also prepared recommendations based on their academics as well as their involvement in school, community and work. High SAT scores are another requirement for finalists.

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Comments (2)

Jacob and Luke, congratulations! That is such an honor for two deserving guys and cousins to boot! Dave and Mary
By: Mary And Dave Isbell on February 12th 7:04pm
This is truly an outstanding accomplishment. It speaks to your hard work and capabilities as well as our VS school system. Congratulations!
By: Don Eells on February 12th 9:57pm

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