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

Published on September 25, 2018 at 10:10 a.m.
Kingsport, Tenn. – Ten Dobyns-Bennett High School students have been named as Commended Students in the 64th Annual 2019 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 Ian Boldea, son of Lucian Boldea and Melania Bochis, Jason Carter, son of David and Danette Carter, Annika Cleven, daughter of Curtis and Detra Cleven, Hallie Elsevier, daughter of Brian Elsevier, David Lee, son of Brandon and Cherese Lee, Susan Mahaffey, daughter of Paul and Dixie Mahaffey, Abigail Nash, daughter of Jim and Joanna Nash, James Root, son of James and Lisa Root, Katerina Scott, daughter of Terry and Jasnena Scott, and Amelia Spell, daughter of Steven and Suzanne Spell.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2019 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2019 completion by taking the 2017 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.

"It is exciting to recognize and celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of these ten 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 the community. I am eager to see the big decisions and next steps that await all of these exceptional individuals."  
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 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).