MHS se­nior go­ing to Schol­ar­ship semis

He will be among 7,500 com­pet­ing for chance at prize

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - FRONT PAGE -

Richard Nakat­suka has achieved semi­fi­nal­ist sta­tus in the Na­tional Merit Schol­ar­ship com­pe­ti­tion.

MID­DLE­TOWN » Mid­dle­town High School se­nior Richard Nakat­suka has achieved semi­fi­nal­ist sta­tus in the Na­tional Merit Schol­ar­ship com­pe­ti­tion. Nakat­suka is one of just 16,000 stu­dents na­tion­wide to achieve this sta­tus, which places him among the top 1 per­cent of the 1.6 mil­lion stu­dents who took the 2016 Pre­lim­i­nary SAT/Na­tional Merit Schol­ar­ship Qual­i­fy­ing Test, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease.

Nakat­suka and the other semi­fi­nal­ists will have an op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue in the com­pe­ti­tion for some 7,500 Na­tional Merit Schol­ar­ships worth more than $32 mil­lion that will be of­fered in the spring.

To be con­sid­ered, stu­dents must ful­fill sev­eral re­quire­ments to ad­vance to fi­nal­ist stand­ing, the re­lease said. Each stu­dent must sub­mit a de­tailed schol­ar­ship ap­pli­ca­tion which in­cludes in­for­ma­tion about the stu­dent’s aca­demic record, par­tic­i­pa­tion in school and com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties, demon­strated lead­er­ship abil­i­ties, em­ploy­ment and hon­ors and awards re­ceived.

Fur­ther, the stu­dent must have an out­stand­ing aca­demic record, be en­dorsed and rec­om­mended by a high school of­fi­cial, write an es­say and earn SAT scores that con­firm the stu­dent’s ear­lier per­for­mance on the PSAT qual­i­fy­ing test.

The qual­i­fy­ing test in­cluded a read­ing sec­tion, writ­ing and lan­guage test and math­e­mat­ics test.

Nakat­suka, the son of Calvin Nakat­suka and Kather­ine Takaki of Acorn Drive in Mid­dle­town, is the fea­tures edi­tor of the school’s award-win­ning news­pa­per Blue Prints, and has served as staff writer and en­ter­tain­ment edi­tor, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease.

Nakat­suka is a three-year mem­ber of the Tri-M Mu­sic Honor So­ci­ety and a mem­ber of the Stu­dent Coun­cil and Gay-Straight Stu­dent Al­liance. He also is a mem­ber of the school’s ac­claimed DECA or­ga­ni­za­tion’s com­pe­ti­tion team who won a first place award in the state DECA com­pe­ti­tion in the spring.

Nakat­suka plays the mel­lophone in the march­ing band, the French horn in the con­cert band and is prin­ci­pal cel­list in the string orches­tra at MHS. He was named to the Con­necti­cut Mu­sic Ed­u­ca­tor’s As­so­ci­a­tion South­ern Re­gional High School Orches­tra both in 2015 and in the spring. He is a pri­vate cello in­struc­tor and teacher’s as­sis­tant at Keig­win Mid­dle School in the El­iz­a­beth Swaim String Pro­gram.

Nakat­suka also played in the pit orches­tra for the drama club’s pro­duc­tions of “Bye-Bye Birdie” and “Les Mis­er­ables” and per­formed in the Elm City Cham­ber­fest in grades 10 and 11, the re­lease con­tin­ued.

He was a mem­ber of the crew team and is a com­pet­i­tive fig­ure skater and has par­tic­i­pated in a va­ri­ety of field tests and com­pe­ti­tions.

Nakat­suka vol­un­teered in a va­ri­ety of mu­si­cal en­deav­ors through­out the area, as the de­signer for the Mid­dle­town Sym­phonic Band web­site, the cre­ator of the school Snapchat ge­ofil­ter, and was a run­ner and judge for Cham­pion’s Ba­sic Skills Com­pe­ti­tion in Cromwell, a helper in the CMEA South­ern Re­gion­als, and food sorter for the Con­necti­cut Food bank in Walling­ford in each of the last three years and has been part of team In­vince­able in the Re­lay for Life Pro­gram ev­ery year since the eighth grade.

Among his aca­demic awards are achiev­ing high honor roll sta­tus through­out high school and was a win­ner of the Wes­leyan Book Award for aca­demic ex­cel­lence his ju­nior year.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Mid­dle­town High School se­nior Richard Nakat­suka is a semi­fi­nal­ist in the Na­tional Merit Schol­ar­ship con­test.

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