CHS Senior Named National Merit Finalist

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Mary Lissard Named National Merit Finalist

Catholic High School, New Iberia would like to congratulate Mary Lissard on being named a National Merit Finalist. This distinction is earned through rigorous competition; scholarship winners are chosen based on their abilities, skills, extracurricular accomplishments, and potential for success in college and beyond.

The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955 to identify and honor scholastically talented American youth and to encourage them to develop their abilities to the fullest. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®)—which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year—and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements. Only one percent of these entrants are selected as Finalists.

Scholarship funds are limited, and only about 7,500 of the Finalists will receive a Merit Scholarship® award. A variety of information is available for NMSC selectors to evaluate: the Finalist’s academic record, information about the school’s curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official’s written recommendation, information about the student’s activities and leadership, and the Finalist’s own essay. Award recipients will begin to receive notifications next month, though earning the distinction of Finalist is a tremendous accomplishment in its own right.

Mary Lissard is a senior at Catholic High School who has been a very active part of the Catholic High family. She has been a member of Beta club all four years of high school, ending each school year on the Principal’s Honor Roll with straight A’s in all subjects. She has competed in a variety of subject areas at both District and State Literary rallies and has received an Academic Letter each year of her high school career.  

Known for her humility, kind smile, and warm heart, Mary has not only excelled in the classroom during her time at CHS, but she has also been involved in multiple extracurricular activities. Currently she is a member of Campus Ministry, Student Council, Spirit Committee, and Key Club and serves as Senior Class Vice President. She has been a member of the varsity tennis team. This year, Mary was elected to represent her school as a member of the Catholic High Homecoming Court. Outside of Catholic High, she has volunteered her time at Nativity Catholic Church and Sub Jr. Miss, an area civic organization for high school girls.

An accomplished dancer, Mary also manages time for several hours of dance a week. Her favorites are tap and ballet, and she has appeared in The Nutcracker with the Lafayette Ballet Theatre. Mary currently attends Studio 84 School of Dance, where she also serves as an assistant instructor. Last year, she was a featured performer in their ballet production of Peter Pan in the role of Princess Tiger Lily. She is currently slated to star as Belle in this year’s production of Beauty and the Beast.  

Mary has been accepted at Louisiana Tech, Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Colorado School of Mines. After graduation, she plans to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and major in Chemical Engineering. Her dream is to one day work for NASA.

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