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

Published on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 at 4:54 p.m.

Kingsport, Tenn. – Eight Dobyns-Bennett High School students have been named as Commended Students in the 63rd Annual 2018 National Merit® Scholarship Program, a program designed to identify and honor the top high school students in the United States.

Those named as Commended Students from D-B are Emily Addlestone, daughter of Steven and Claire Addlestone, Karli Ailshie, daughter of Lyle and Vanessa Ailshie, Joseph Fry, son of Jake and Nancy Fry, Lydia Helton, daughter of David and JoElla Helton, Joshua McCreight, son of Kevin and Denise McCreight, Mason McDougal, son of Christopher and Kelly McDougal, Kendall Miller, daughter of David and Kellie Miller, and Lauren Williams, daughter of Vernon and Shari Williams.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2018 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2018 completion by taking the 2016 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.

“We are very proud of our National Merit Commended Students,” said Dobyns-Bennett Principal Dr. Chris Hampton.  “They have demonstrated an outstanding potential for academic success and we recognize and celebrate this recognition.  I have no doubt they will continue to refine their skills and have continued success as they further their education beyond Dobyns-Bennett.  We wish them all the best as the finish their senior year and have bright college careers.”

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

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 be, Student Focused … World Class.

KCS has been named the top school district in Tennessee as winner of the 2014 SCORE Prize District Award by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) and has earned the 2014 Achievement Award in the annual Excellence in Tennessee Recognition Program by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE).

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).