National Merit Commended Students at Oakmont

Eight academically successful seniors were recognized as Commended Students.


Caitlin Strawn

Ms. Jennifer Leighton (left), seven of the National Merit Commended Students (Remi Royer, Sam Carmon, Sophia Jenson, Neha Nepal, Isabella Estrada, Valentina Moreno, Jolie Anderson) and Dr. Govea (right)

Laurie Lencioni, Copy Editor

Eight Oakmont seniors received an award and were recognized as Commended Students in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. Roughly 34,000 Commended Students across the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. 

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation strives to honor the students that show academic excellence in their studies. 

“The mission of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is to recognize and honor the academically talented students of the United States,” NSMC mission statement says. “NMSC accomplishes its mission by conducting nationwide academic scholarship programs.” 

The eight students that received this award are Valentina Moreno, Sophia Jenson, Isabella Estrada, Sam Carmon, Jolie Anderson, Neha Nepal, Remi Royer, and Julia Figgins. These eight students showed academic excellence and are now being recognized for all of their hard work. 

These seniors took the Preliminary SAT in January 2020 and placed among the top 50,000 students in the nation. 

However, they all had very different methods of preparing for the test. 

“I didn’t really prepare for the PSAT, I just prepared for the SAT and [it] just kind of carried over,” Moreno said. 

Moreno studied for the SAT using different practice tests. This knowledge then carried over into her PSAT which helped her remain calm and collected throughout the test. 

Two other students used Khan Academy practice in order to better prepare themselves for the PSAT specifically.

“I don’t remember doing too much, but [I did] SAT reviews that Khan Academy [had sent out],” Jenson said. 

Both Jenson and Carmon had a similar study plan of using Khan Academy and focusing on portions of the test that they weren’t as confident about. 

While the majority of the students dedicated time to studying for the PSAT or the SAT, some, like Anderson and Royer, didn’t. 

Both Anderson and Royer admit to not spending a lot of time studying solely for the PSAT, which makes this accomplishment that much more impressive for them.

“It’s an honor,” Anderson said. “I didn’t expect it, because it’s really hard to get in California, so I was surprised.” 

Royer agrees that this award is a huge honor and he even goes as far as thanking certain people in his life for the accomplishment he made. 

“It’s a big honor,” Royer said. “So I’m really grateful to my teachers, my parents and the opportunity I had to win.”

Estrada was asked how she felt about being recognized as a Commended Student. She is proud that she is able to be acknowledged for all the work she has put in. 

“I’m glad my work has paid off,” Estrada said.

Every single one of these students is proud and honored to have received the award. They are glad that they were able to put in the work in order to be where they are today. 

We as an Oakmont family should be proud of the accomplishments of our fellow students. Be sure to congratulate them!