Honors and Awards

5/2/2018 - 4 PHS Students named National Merit Scholarship Finalists

Congratulations National Merit Scholarship Finalists!


Glenn Lungarini, Principal of Pomperaug High School is pictured with National Merit Scholarship Finalists Katrina Hon, Eric Gao, Justin Callanan, Clara Ma, and Superintendent of Region 15 Schools Regina Lemerich Botsford.

Excellent performance on PSAT and SAT assessments, outstanding academic records, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and recognized honors and awards are considered in National Merit Finalist awards.

Justin Callanan is an active member of the PHS music community, participating in the chorale, band, and orchestra and serves as President of both the Tri-M Music Honor Society and the Science National Honor Society. He is an actor in the Pomperaug Theatre Company and is a member of the drum line, the mock trial team, and science bowl competition participant.  In addition, he serves as the student-liaison to the Region 15 Board of Education. He will be attending Northeastern University next year, majoring in mathematics.

Eric Gao’s class rank is in the top 5% of seniors.  He is an officer with the National Honor Society as a Technical Coordinator and is the Technical Coordinator of the High School Student Government. Eric is a member of Science National Honor Society, a Link Crew Leader, and is the captain of the Science Bowl Club. A successful scholar-athlete, Eric is a member of the varsity swim team and plans to continue in college. Outside of school he works at Kumon Math and Reading Center as an assistant tutor and volunteers at the Huaxia Chinese School in Danbury.  Eric's interests are in computers, computer science, and reading and he is considering an option to attend Northeastern University in Boston, with the intent of studying Chemical Engineering.

Katrina Hon is currently the President of National Art Honors Society, French Honors Society, and Pomp Med, a medical based volunteer group. She is also the Vice President of Interact and Science Honors Society, and Tutoring Coordinator for National Honor Society.  She is the Senior Drum Major for marching band and is a US Presidential Scholars Program Candidate, received the Governor’s Scholar Award, Harvard Book Award, Women Engineers Award, Honorary Science Award, a Silver Medal for French Concours Test and placed 15th in the United States in the Chemistry Olympiad.  She is also a member of the PHS track and cross-country teams.  She will be attending Harvard University next year concentrating on neurobiology on a pre med track. 

Clara Ma is a 2018 Presidential Scholars Candidate, an AP Scholar with Distinction, and a Silver Key winner at the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.  Her extra-curricular activities are extensive and include participation on the debate team, where she is also treasurer, Science Bowl, Robotics and Harvard Model UN.  She is a member of the National, French, Science, and Art Honor Societies, serving as treasurer of the National Art Society, and founder and President of her own Fandom Club.  She has won First Varsity Speaker and First Novice Team in debate and her art has been selected to be on display in the National Art Honor Society juried exhibition.  She in an active member of her church’s youth music ensemble group as a piano player, studying and performing in competitions throughout high school.  She volunteers for Grace Baptist Church, Acts 4 Ministry, and the Middlebury and Southbury Public libraries.  She will be attending Georgetown University next year.

Over 1.6 million students across the United States apply for recognition as a National Merit Finalist, and 1 percent of those who apply are identified as a finalist.  Justin, Eric, Katrina and Clara are now being considered for college scholarship awards, as based on their excellent PSAT and SAT scores, outstanding academic

records, letters of recommendations, and personal essay.