Saturday, March 28, 2020
Kopplin and Hagenbuch Named National Merit Scholarship Finalists
Ella Kopplin and Johnny Hagenbuch have been named National Merit Scholarship Finalists.
Sunday, February 16, 2020


Two Sun Valley Community School seniors have been named National Merit Scholarship Finalists.

Ella Kopplin and Johnny Hagenbuch are among more than 15,000 finalists nationwide in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.

They were among 16,000 semifinalists announced in September. Semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and were chosen from a pool of more than 1.5 million juniors in 21,000 high schools based on their results in the 2018 preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Their results made them among the highest-scoring entrants in Idaho.

Finalists were chosen based on academic record participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, honors and awards received.

Ella Kopplin is an alpine skier with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation who has competed internationally for the United States. A member of the school’s Creative Arts Academy, she is an accomplished pianist and cellist who has participated in the Sun Valley Music Festival’s Music Institute for several years, along with the National Federal of Music Clubs.

She has received a bevy of awards, including the Rensselaer Medal Award and a Book Award.

Johnny Hagenbuch, a cross-country runner and Nordic racer, won the 34-kilometer Boulder Mountain Tour Nordic ski race in early February after finishing third last year.

The youngest Nordic athlete ever to be named to the U.S. Ski Team, he was part of the first-ever U.S. men’s gold medal-winning relay team at the 2019 Junior Cross-Country World Championships in Finland.

Both students were honored by the U.S. Department of Education and White House Commission on Presidential Scholarship for their achievements.

Half of the National Merit Scholarship Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship of $2,500. The 2020 National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced beginning in April.

“Ella and Johnny have had remarkable careers at Sun Valley Community School,” said Head of School Ben Pettit. “They are both motivated and engaged students who are highly involved with extracurriculars. They have each pursued their passions inside and outside the classroom. We are proud of their hard-earned achievements and look forward to where their journeys take them.”


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