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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Senior Issue 2024
June 5, 2024

MAST Academy Senior Wins National Merit Scholarship Award

Anthonie Page

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) notified current MAST Academy senior Edgar Batista that he is among a group of approximately 7,500 students that became National Merit Scholars and would be awarded scholarships from the NMSC or sponsoring scholarships. The NMSC is an independent, not-for-profit organization that conducts the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships.

Winners were chosen from a pool of 15,000 finalists, selected from a population of about 1.5 million students for their outstanding scores on their Junior Year Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test PSAT/NMSQT® taken in October 2022.

“I prepared using the Ray Dass [Merit] Scholars program that Dr. Collman got for us,” Batista explained. “With that program I studied from May through October between my sophomore year, doing a ton of practice tests and problems.”

While he admits facing problems when it came to pacing himself, he says that the Ray Dass program helped to keep him on track and paid off with a score of 1520.

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A committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors judged each finalist to determine who would advance to the status of National Merit Scholar. Judges considered a wide variety of information about students: their “academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®); contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.”

When asked about his plans with the scholarship money, Batista explained he intends to use the $2,500 to pay for his studies in aerospace engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Batista has been attending MAST since his freshman year in 2020, and since then has taken many Advanced Placement courses, AS Level Cambridge courses, and Dual Enrollment courses with Florida International University.

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About the Contributors
Panni Peschke
Panni Peschke, Design Editor

Panni Peschke is a senior at MAST Academy. A Miami native, her parents hail from Germany and Colombia, giving her an international background and a grasp on three languages.

Panni has been previously published in MAST’s literary magazine, Spilt Milk, and joined The Beacon to exercise her writing abilities. She aims to publish a healthy mix between sociopolitical issues and local experiences for her fellow students to enjoy.

In her spare time, Panni enjoys filling her parent’s counter, cabinet, and oven space with different materials for her baking obsession.

To complement her creative interests, Panni aims to study business to create a balance between arts and sciences.

Anthonie Page
Anthonie Page, Live Editor
Anthonie Page is a staff member for the MAST Academy student paper, The Beacon, based in Virginia Key. Part of the graduating class of 2024, this is Page’s 4th year at MAST Academy. When Page is not studying for his many AP classes or working on college applications, he enjoys writing and watching stand up comedy. Page is an active basketball player, and he spends his summers as a volunteer basketball coach for a youth basketball club. “I love playing basketball, and being a coach allows me to share the sport I love with future generations,” Page said. Page has a European background, with his family being from Greece and Italy. He aspires to study astrophysics after he finishes his final year at MAST.
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