The Capistrano Dispatch

Three JSerra Catholic High School students from the class of 2018 have advanced to finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Having three finalists from the same class of 267 students is unique, in that 0.94 percent of the nation’s 1.6 million entrants advance to finals, a JSerra spokesperson said in an email.

“Austin Brotman continues to be a tremendous leader as he coaches and encourages his former water polo teammates after a spinal injury paralyzed him,” the spokesperson said.

Brotman has raised more than $30,000 to the Spinal Cord Injury Scholars Fund and since the injury, he has changed his path from wanting to become a surgeon to a doctor specializing in pain management.

“Then there’s Steven Chu, who transferred to JSerra his junior year, achieved 5’s in all of his AP exams and last summer, conducted scientific research with a professor in Shanghai,” the spokesperson said.

Chu also contributes hundreds of hours teaching tennis to children with disabilities.

“Lastly, Deven Douglas has a passion for the STEM field and enjoys competing in Robotics competitions, assisting in youth Engineering Summer Camps and is President of JSerra’s Sailing Club and Cyberpatriot Club,” the spokesperson said.


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comments (1)

  • I hope the author of this article isn’t teaching AP Stats at JSerra, as it’s riddled with errors:

    1.. The finalists this year are in the class of 2018, not 2017. Only students graduating in 2018 are eligible.

    2. The national number of entrants is roughly 1,600,000, not 16 million. The annual number of graduates nationwide is on the order of 3=4 million, and roughly half of these students take the PSAT (National Merit Qualifying Test) as juniors

    3. Of the Semifinalists named in the fall, 94% (not 0.94 percent) advance to Finalist status.

    4. Since finalists comprise the top one percent of PSAT scorers, and since 1% of 267 is 2.6, one would expect 2-3 Finalists per year at a school the size of JSerra. My public high school in San Diego had an enrollment twice the size of JSerra’s, and my class produced six Finalists—the same ratio as JSerra.

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