Five seniors named Commended Students by National Merit Scholarship Corporation

Five Wilsonville students have been named Commended Students in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program. Wilsonville High School seniors Madelyn Green, Karen Harper, Amy Paquin, Jacob Uselman and Zachary Uselman earned that recognition through their performance on the PSAT/NMSQT test last year as juniors. Their scores on that test placed them among the top 5 percent of the 1.5 million students who took the test nationwide.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: KATE HOOTS - From left, Jacob Uselman, Karen Harper, Madelyn Green and Zach Uselmen earn recognition for their strong performance on the PSAT. Amy Paquin, not pictured, also received recognition.Here is a little information about the five students.

Madelyn Green

Although Green particularly enjoys studying math, English and Spanish, she said she could not choose a favorite school subject.

“I like a little bit of everything,” she said.

A member of the National Honor Society, she also plays the piano. Tennis and skiing are among her sports. She is considering colleges in a wide range of areas, including California, Illinois, Oregon and Washington. She hopes to major in biology, with a Spanish minor, and to become a doctor. Receiving recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation is exciting, she said, because it could help her advance those goals.

“It has the potential to help me get into the college I want to get into,” she said. “It’s also super cool to get recognition for academics.”

Karen Harper

Harper lists calculus, chemistry and Japanese as her favorite high school classes. The elected leader of the National Honor Society at WHS, she also is a member of the science and math club and a participant in the International Science and Engineering Fair and the overall lead for the robotics team, which she called “the varsity sport of the mind.”

She is interested in attending college at Cal Tech, MIT, Harvey Mudd or Yale, and hopes to study either electrical or chemical engineering.

“I would like to become a professor, a research scientist or an engineer trying to make the world a better place,” she said.

She is honored to be commended by the NMSC.

“It is extremely gratifying to know that my efforts have paid off in such a way to put me in the top (34,000) test scores in the U.S.,” she said. “It’s an honor to be recognized in this way.”

PaquinAmy Paquin

Paquin hopes to attend Oregon State University, where she would like to enter the pre-veterinary medicine program. At WHS, she enjoys taking science classes, particularly biology. She also enjoys acting classes.

She currently is working as a technician on the school’s production of “Little Women, the Musical” and has been a member of both the thespian group and the art club.

Her hobbies include drawing, art, camping and outdoor pursuits such as hiking.

“It’s nice to be recognized” by NMSC, she said, “especially since I don’t do sports. It’s nice to be good at something.”

Jacob Uselman

Uselman’s hobbies included track, cross-country and reading. His favorite school subjects are physics and English. He enjoys attending football and soccer games and has participated in the Relay for Life and fun runs.

He said he is “shooting high” with his college applications, hoping to attend a California school to study civil engineering for a career tied to mathematics. Receiving NMSC recognition was gratifying, he said.

“It means that the thousands of hours of reading have been more than just a favorite pastime,” he said. “It means that I can strive to be a role model for other students.”

Zachary Uselman

Uselman enjoys biology and math classes, including calculus, as well as his outdoor education class, where he and other students hike, SCUBA dive and bike around the city. His hobbies include camping and reading good books, and he participates in cross-country and track and field.

He hopes to attend college in the Pacific Northwest, and he is exploring the University of Washington and Oregon State University. He would like to study bioengineering, with the goal of working in medicine. Being named a Commended Student is a sign that he’s headed in the right direction, he said.

“I realize now that all of my hard academic work and dedication to a variety of subjects has paid off, clearing a better path for my future and further preparing me for my college experience,” he said.

Kate Hoots can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 112.

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