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Nazareth's Colin Henderson a National Merit Semifinalist

Colin Henderson, a senior at Nazareth Area High School, is one of 16,000 semifinalists competing for 8,300 National Merit scholarships.

Nazareth Area High School has a National Merit semifinalist for the first time in five or six years, principal Alan Davis reported at Monday night’s school board meeting.

He’s senior Colin Henderson, one of 16,000 semifinalists competing for 8,300 scholarships, Davis said.

Henderson was recognized at the board meeting, as were two “commended” Merit students -- seniors Taylore Roth and Ayomide Opeyemi (the name is Nigerian, he said).

Henderson chuckled and said he’s not sure where he will be going to college next fall.

But we'll cut him some slack, since the scholarship process is lengthy.

According to www.nationalmerit.org, about 15,000 semifinalists will find out in February if they are finalists. Beginning in March and continuing to mid-June, the finalists will learn if they earned one of three types of Merit Scholarship awards: National Merit $2,500 Scholarship, Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship and College-sponsored Merit Scholarship.

Henderson was the subject of a May 2011 Patch “Whiz Kids” profile at the end of his sophomore year. At the time, he ranked first in his class, was on the cross country, tennis and chess teams and played Blue Mountain soccer.

Henderson took meaningful strides in September when he participated in the 2nd annual 5K Dragonfly Run/Walk for Brenton's Hope. He took home a special trophy after finishing the 5K in 18 minutes and 54 seconds, making him the overall top performing male.

Brenton’s Hope, a non-profit organization founded in April 2011, helps raise childhood cancer awareness and funds for local families facing the hardships of a childhood cancer diagnosis

Henderson said he lives by a quote from Benjamin Franklin -- something passed on to him by his parents: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

In other action at Monday’s meeting, the board approved the purchase -- at $30,823 -- of a 2012 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4-wheel-drive work truck with an 8-foot Poly Pro Western snow plow from Star Buick GMC of Quakertown/Easton.

The board held an executive session for “personnel and legal matters” before the regular meeting. When asked, superintendent Dennis Riker said he could not talk about what was discussed at the closed-door session.

Meanwhile, Riker said he had no update on a replacement for Michael Q. Roth, the Nazareth administrator appointed superintendent of the Salisbury Township School District Oct. 3.

Roth worked in the Nazareth district for 17 years and served the last four years as assistant superintendent for educational programs. He starts his new job Nov. 1.

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