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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Robert Kerr named National Merit semifinalist

Robert Kerr of Indian Hill
A math whiz, athlete and servant leader at The Summit Country Day School, senior Robert Kerr of Indian Hill, has been named a semifinalist in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Corporation Program.
Amid fierce competition, he is among about 1.6 million students who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as juniors last year. The 16,000 semifinalists nationwide represent less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors. As a semifinalist, Robert is also among the highest-scoring entrants in Ohio.
Robert has been named an AP Scholar with Honor. A lifer at The Summit, his favorite subjects are biology and history, but he had the school’s second highest score on the Mathematical Association of America exam his junior year. Robert has served as a senior retreat leader, student liaison for prospective students, yearbook staffer and “House” representative from his homeroom. In athletics, Robert received Miami Valley Conference honorable mention in varsity tennis for four years and served as captain junior and senior years. He played junior varsity (JV) soccer and served as captain his junior year. He played JV basketball his freshman year and won the Silver Knight Award for representing the school’s athletics. He also plays intramural basketball, indoor soccer, flag football and ultimate Frisbee.

Outside The Summit, Robert has been active in the Crossroads Community Church service projects, helping with neighborhood clean-ups, building of a playground at Stepping Stones, on a mission trip to New Orleans to help paint a school and classroom damaged by Hurricane Katrina, loading food onto pallets and into trucks and even wearing a turkey suit to raise awareness for a Thanksgiving Food Drive. He also has helped the Kids Club during services. At the Freestore Foodbank, where his family volunteers every month, he has worked at the registration desk, in assembly lines
creating meals, loading boxes, stocking food and working in the warehouse. At Matthew 25: Ministries, he has created meals for displaced persons after natural disasters and organized donated clothes for distribution. He served as a counselor at Camp Joy and went on a team-building trip with Outward Bound at the Outer Banks of North and South Carolina. He served “1 in 5” to raise awareness about mental illness among teens, volunteering at an event and raising funds. He also went on The Summit’s mission trip to West Virginia to help a storm-damaged community.

“Robert is way above our requirements for service,” said Upper School religion teacher and campus minister Ashley Volpenhein, who led the West Virginia mission trip. “He doesn’t need to do service anymore. He does it because he truly wants to help people. He has lots of layers. As funny and silly and goofy as he can be as a senior in high school, he has depth. I don’t think people realize how deeply reflective he is, but I’ve seen it in his writing.”

Robert is one of nine seniors this year who have been recognized in some way by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. About 90 percent of the semifinalists reach finalist standing and about half will be awarded National Merit scholarships. To become finalists, students must maintain an outstanding academic record, be active in school and community activities, demonstrate leadership abilities, write an essay, earn SAT scores that confirm their performance on the qualifying test and be recommended by their principal.

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