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Campbell is National Merit Scholar

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By Geoff Hamill

 

In the 45-year history of Washington County High School, there had never been a student to receive the honor of National Merit Scholar. Until now.
Charlotte Campbell, a senior, and the daughter of Philip and Erika Campbell of Springfield, recently received word that she had won the honor out of more than 1.5 million students nationally.

“We’ve had semi-finalists, and finalists, but this is the first time in our 45-year history that we’ve had somebody actually win the honor,” Washington County High School Principal Paul Terrell said. “We’re just so very proud of her. She’s such a well-rounded young lady who has varied interests, and that was one of the positive things in her application. I know she’ll be successful whichever way she goes.”
Campbell is one of only 16 students in Kentucky to win the honor, and one of 8,000 nationwide to be named a National Merit Scholar.
“The moral of this story is take the PSAT,” Charlotte joked. She said taking the test got the ball rolling. Students typically take the PSAT as a sophomore, and she said she took it originally in preparation for her Governor’s Scholar application. She was later informed that she had been nominated, and then later learned she was a semi-finalist, and then a finalist, and finally a winner.
“I just waited and hoped to get it because I knew it pretty much meant free college,” Charlotte said.
With the honor being official, Charlotte said she is still a little confused by all of the excitement, but she said she knows that along with this honor comes “more college money,” and she plans to take advantage of that at the University of Louisville.
“I’m not sure of a major, but I like Louisville as a city, and I liked the college, so that’s where I’m going,” Charlotte said.
As for that money for school, she said as a National Merit Scholar she will receive paid tuition, as well as a stipend while she studies at Louisville.
Charlotte is well known in the community for her participation in the Central Kentucky Community Theatre, and although she said she will pursue some community theatre, she has made no plans to study it officially in college.
“I’m not sure about it at school, but there are a ton of theaters there (in Louisville), and I’ll keep that interest going.”
Otherwise, Charlotte has no career plans, but she will likely take some advice from her mother in the meantime.
“I’ll probably take Mom’s advice and major in business,” she said. “Most of the things I’d like to be doing would involve having my own business, so that would probably be a wise decision.”
Charlotte’s parents were pleased at the announcement of the award, and her mother said she also had another emotion.
“Relief,” she said with a smile. “It took a lot of pressure off of Charlotte, and her college decisions just fell into place. She’s wonderful to work with. When I take on projects, she helps and contributes so much. She’s been in Girl Scouts since she was in kindergarten, and she’s one reason we still have a troop and graduating seniors. She’s so welcoming, and does such a good job including people. I’m proud of her character.”
Washington County High School counselor Lolita Blanton said she is proud of Charlotte.
“I’m proud of her, and her accomplishments. I’m glad she has received the scholarship opportunities, and I know they are going to make college a lot easier,” Blanton said. “U of L has been wonderful to work with. She’s got some great opportunities, and they will give her the chance to do tremendous things.”
Terrell said he is also proud, and knows this can serve as an example to other students.
“This is a wonderful accomplishment, and I want other students in our school to look at this and try to accomplish high goals for themselves,” he said. “They need to realize it can happen in Washington County. It is possible for everyone. If you have high goals, high expectations, and I must add strong parental support, that’s a big key. You can do it.”