West Liberty students earn national honors

By Chris Steinbach · Monday, September 24, 2012
In fact, Principal Jim Hamilton couldn’t immediately recall, when asked Tuesday, when the school last had a finalist or semifinalist for the scholarship.

This year, however, it has two.

Seniors Nick Brown and Katherine McGowan last week were named semifinalists for the honor. They were among the 16,000 semifinalists — chosen from 1.5 million students at more than 22,000 high schools — in the 58th annual program. It puts them in the running for one of the 8,300 national scholarships that will be awarded next spring with a total value of more than $32 million.

Brown and McGowan took the honor in stride.

When asked how he learned of the honor, Brown, 16, the son of Keith and Diane Brown, said: “When (Katherine) told me.

“They were supposed to send us stuff in the mail,” he said. “I haven’t gotten mine yet.”

Added McGowan: “Me neither.”

She is the 17-year-old daughter of Darren McGowan and stepdaughter of Julie McGowan.

To get to this point, the two students took the Pre-SAT test last year. Soon, they will take the SAT test. After that, they may have to do an interview to see if they can win scholarships.

But for now, both McGowan and Brown are busy going to school, studying, juggling myriad activities and beginning to apply to colleges. Both are active in band and choir. Brown is also in show choir and runs on the cross-country team.

Brown is unsure what he wants to study in college, but he hopes to go to the University of Chicago. “It’s a really good school. I like the culture. It’s a great campus,” he said.

McGowan is more uncertain about where she wants to go to college or what she wants to study.

“There’s too much I like to do and too many places I’d like to go,” she said.
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