Dobyns-Bennett Students Recognized as Commended Students in the National Merit® Scholarship Program and National Hispanic Recognition Program

Published on October 4, 2019 @ 10:10 a.m.
Kingsport, Tenn. – Eleven Dobyns-Bennett High School students have been named as Commended Students in the 65th Annual 2020 National Merit® Scholarship Program, a program designed to identify and honor the top high school students in the United States. In addition, two of those 11 students have been named in the National Hispanic Recognition Program Class of 2020

Those named as Commended Students from D-B are Nathaniel Barton, son of Benjamin and Alison Barton, Natalie Bates, daughter of Chad and Gayle Bates, Allison Gamble, daughter of Ben and Nancy Gamble, Ethan Glover, son of Scott and Tiffany Glover, Gavin Harman, son of Eric and Monica Harman, Owen Klug, son of Jeremy and Ellen Klug, Kynadi Lane, daughter of Michael and Wendy Lane, Behrod Nejad, son of Mohammad Nejad and Fatemeh Yamani, Joshua Romero, son of Jon and Sunny Romero, Emma Russum, daughter of Ryan and Marci Russum, and Pia Winkler, daughter of Uwe Winkler and Karen Salazar. 
Those named in the National Hispanic Recognition Program Class of 2020 are Joshua Romero and Pia Winkler.

"It is exciting to recognize and celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of these 11 outstanding students," said Dobyns-Bennett Principal Dr. Chris Hampton. "They contribute significantly in their classes and are leaders in co-curricular activities and in the community. I am eager to see the big decisions and next steps that await all of these exceptional individuals."   
About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2020 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2020 completion by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screening of program entrants. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.
Approximately 16,000 U.S. students qualified as semifinalists.  The National Merit Scholarship Corporation provides scholarship application materials to semifinalists through their high schools. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® Award, semifinalists must advance to the Finalist level of the competition by fulfilling several requirements. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

For more information on the National Merit Scholarship Program, please contact the Dobyns-Bennett High School Counseling Office at (423) 378.8409 or visit
For more information on the National Hispanic Recognition Program, please visit

Kingsport City Schools (KCS) is a public school district located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, a high school program of choice and an alternative learning program; with total enrollment over 7,700 students. The vision of Kingsport City Schools is to Inspire. Cultivate. Impact. 

For more information on KCS, visit, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FM, The Voice of KCS, read our blog, We Are KCS, download our mobile app for Apple / Android devices or call (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (Kingsport City Schools), Twitter (@KCS_District), LinkedIn (Kingsport City Schools) and check out our YouTube Channel (KPTSchools). 


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