CHARLOTTE – Charlotte Catholic High School seniors Mary Cecilia Polking, Connor Blaise Ruff and Matthew Louis Weber were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.
They were among approximately 16,000 students qualified as semifinalists, based on results of Preliminary SAT / National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in the fall of 2016. Winners will be announced between April and July.
Here’s a look at how involved the Charlotte Catholic semifinalists are:
- Mary has served on Student Council as a class representative and as the executive council secretary. She is in the National Honor Society and the CCHS Color Guard. She has volunteered as an assistant catechist at her church, as a tutor at the Missionaries of Charity Convent and as an assistant teacher with vacation Bible school. She competed on the track team. She works as a grader/assistant at Kumon of Charlotte. As an eighth-grader, Mary won the 2014 Charlotte Observer Spelling Bee. She won an AP Scholar award as a junior and earned highest honors on the National Latin Examination four years in a row. Mary is the daughter of Christian and Jean Marie Polking.
- Connor is the president of the Speech and Debate Team, as well as the captain of the public form division of the team. He has had a volunteer internship at Levine Children’s Hospital and has volunteered at the Pineville Firehouse. As a sophomore, Connor served as captain of the JV soccer team. He has played soccer at CCHS all four years, as well as club soccer during his freshman and sophomore years. He works as a soccer referee and at AutoBell. Connor is in Honors Choir and was chosen to perform with the “Singing Sergeants” of the US Air Force Band. He has earned the Bronze Award from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and studied abroad through Oxbridge Academy. Connor is the son of Michael and Jenifer Ruff.
- Matthew attended the Niner Academy Leader Institute at UNC Charlotte, a summer program focusing on leadership and community engagement. He has played alto saxophone for six years. As a member of the CCHS Marching Band, he played in the Limerick International Band Festival and the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parade. He was awarded first chair in the CCHS Symphonic Band. Matt has volunteered with Servants with a Heart, 24 Hours of Booty, PurpleStride and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. He has run winter and spring track at CCHS, as well as cross country. He won the Cougar Award for Academic Excellence as a freshman and sophomore, as well as earned First Honors three years in a row. Matt is the son of Mark and Patti Weber.