4R Scholar Attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders

4R Scholar Alison Maser

This summer,  4R  scholar Alison Maser spent her vacation serving as a Delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Lowell, MA. The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields. The event honors, inspires, and motivates top students from around the country to pursue careers in the medical field and provides them with a plan and resources to achieve their goals.

Alison was nominated by Dr. Mario Capecchi, winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine and the Science Director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists. Alison was selected based on her academic achievement, leadership potential, and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.

“I want to work as a medical research scientist and help work to find a cure for the problems that affect so many people in their everyday lives, such as diabetes or dementia,” said Alison. “At the Congress, I met working medical researchers and physicians who shared their own career paths and journeys with us. I’m even more inspired to work towards my goals.”

At the Congress, Alison had the opportunity to hear Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about the latest developments in medical research, meet with medical school deans to discuss the medical school application process, and learn about advances in medical technology.

“This is a crucial time in America when we need more doctors and medical scientists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially, said Richard Rossi, Executive Director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists. “Focused, bright and determined students like Alison are our future and she deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give her.”


Two Parnassus Scholars Named National Merit Commended Students

National Merit Commended ScholarsPrincipal Hamiel announced today that two Parnassus Preparatory School 4R students, Ms. Abigail Garner and Mr. Pranav Rupireddy, were named Commended Students in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program.

A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which conducts the program, will be presented by Principal Hamiel and Executive Director, Mrs. Ford, to these scholastically talented Fourth Level Rhetoric students.

Approximately 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers out of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2019 competition by taking the PSAT in the fall of 2017.

Another 4R scholar, Ryan Friess, was named as a National Merit Semifinalist.

“Pranav and Abigail have demonstrated their outstanding potential for academic success and we are  proud of everything they have accomplished in their years at Parnassus. Their diligence and hard work in our classical program have prepared them to be leaders and scholars for the rest of their lives,” said Mrs. Ford. “We hope that this recognition will broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them in their pursuit of further academic success.”

4R Scholar Named National Merit Semifinalist

Ryan Friess National Merit Semifinalist4R scholar Ryan Friess has been named a National Merit Semifinalist in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. Ryan was one of 16,000 Semifinalists from across the country who were selected from a pool of 1.6 million students at over 22,000 high schools. Semifinalists are chosen from students participating in the PSAT each fall. Like students at most other high schools, Parnassus School of Rhetoric scholars take the  PSAT exam in the fall of their 3R year.

This was one of the most competitive years ever for the National Merit Scholarship competition, and this year’s cutoff score was above the 99th percentile! Ryan and Minnesota’s 282 other Semifinalists had to meet the highest minimum score threshold the state has ever seen.

Ryan was the only public school student from the Osseo-Maple Grove area to be named as a National Merit Semifinalist.

Ryan and his fellow Semifinalists will have the opportunity to continue in the competition to be named a National Merit Finalist and be awarded a National Merit Scholarship. Last year, National Merit Scholarships granted to finalists amounted to over $30 million shared amongst approximately 7,500 students. Being a Semifinalist or Finalist comes with meaningful status conferment and even some financial perks.  Over 200 colleges and universities offer automatic scholarships for National Merit Finalists.

In order to become a Finalist, Semifinalists have to complete a detailed scholarship application, which details the students’ academic record, participation in extracurricular activities and community service, leadership abilities, employment, an any honors or awards received. Semifinalists must also write an essay and sit for the SAT exam. National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in April.

Scholar Recognized Twice as a Distinguished High School Student By Minnesota Department of Education

3R Scholar Pranav RupireddyMaple Grove, MN — June 19, 2018 – Parnassus Preparatory School student Pranav Rupireddy was honored twice by the Minnesota Department of Education for outstanding Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) scholarship at the recent Minnesota Scholars of Distinction’s award program. Rupireddy was one of 53 Minnesota high school students recognized as among Minnesota’s finest STEM and fine arts students.

The Minnesota Department of Education’s Scholars of Distinction program recognizes students in the areas of science, STEM, mathematics, social studies, leadership, and theater arts. Students are reviewed by a panel of subject matter experts who review student work for mastery of complex subject matter and how it is applied to a challenging project.

“Pranav is an outstanding all-around student and scholar whose natural curiosity, keen intellect and drive will take him far,” said Parnassus Executive Director Constance Ford. “His love of science and ability to apply scientific processes and research on a practical level to a complex issue like Parkinson’s disease are well deserving of this recognition.”

Rupireddy’s project, Untangling Parkinsonian Dynamics: Analyzing Spatio-Temporal Neural Spiking Patterns Under Second-Order Network Structures in Parkinsonian-like Networks was honored with both a STEM Scholar of Distinction and a Science Meritorious Performance award. Rupireddy was one of four students who received honors in two categories.

“In ancient Greece, Mount Parnassus was home of the Muses who were the emissaries of literature, the sciences, and the arts,” Ford said. “Pranav’s award recognizes his educational quest of Mount Parnassus and finding great things through focused, classical study.”

3R Scholar Scores in Top 0.3% of National Latin Exam

Ryan Friess, 3R scholar with National Latin Exam Perfect Paper
Ryan displays his Perfect Paper certificate

Maple Grove, MN — June 19, 2018 – Parnassus Preparatory School student Ryan Friess earned his second “Perfect Paper” on the National Latin Exam (NLE), putting him in the top 0.3 percent of students taking this year’s exam. A 3R student (eleventh grader), Friess scored his Perfect Paper on the Level III Prose exam, one of only 11 test takers worldwide to earn a perfect score.

The NLE is administered by the American Classical League and the National Junior Classical League to more than 140,000 students in the United States and twenty-four countries. The timed test is a multiple choice test offered on seven levels ranging from Latin I to Latin VI.

“Ryan’s exemplary work in the classroom and the diligence of his studies show once again in this test,” said Parnassus Preparatory School Executive Director Constance Ford. “He is an outstanding student and scholar who pursues his education with a clear sense of direction and purpose. Ryan has consistently shown his love of language and learning in the classroom and the tests help showcase Ryan to others outside of the classroom.”

Parnassus’ classical education structure incorporates Latin as a compulsory subject in its K-12 curriculum. Parnassus began administering the NLE in 2014 to all students.

“Not only has he scored two perfect scores which makes him stand out as a scholar of Latin, but he’s earned Gold Medals in 2014 and 2015 on the Latin I and Latin II exams respectively,” Ford said. “Interestingly, Ryan did not take the exam in 2017 because he was studying ancient Greek – and he earned highest honors on the National Greek Exam.”

Language is a core component of classical education. Learning is accomplished through focus on written and spoken words versus images such as video. Language-focused learning encourages the mind to decode words into underlying concepts and ideas that build meaning.

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