Sibley students named National Merit Semifinalists
Two Henry Sibley students named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists
Posted on 09/25/2015

Henry Sibley High School and School District 197 congratulate Sibley seniors Dominic Moog and Montgomery (Monte) Fischer, who have both been named Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Of the 1.5 million entrants, nearly 16,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores are named Semifinalists. In February, 15,000 of the Semifinalists will be notified by mail that they have advanced to finalist standing. It is from the pool of finalists that the many National Merit $2,500 scholarships, corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards, and college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards are endowed. In addition to the 16,000 semifinalists, an additional 34,000 of the nation’s top scorers on the PSAT receive Letters of Commendation.



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Dominic MoogName:
Dominic Moog
Hometown: Eagan
Other District 197 Schools attended: Mendota Elementary (preschool), Pilot Knob Elementary, Friendly Hills Middle School
Graduation Plans: Hopes to attend either UCLA or USC and major in either psychobiology or neuroscience before attending graduate school or medical school.

Dominic Moog is the section leader for the clarinets in the Henry Sibley band and the lead bass in the jazz choir. He has also served on the Sibley chapter of National Honors Society since his junior year.  Previously Dominic has participated in concert choir and One Act Plays during his junior year and boys tennis during ninth and tenth grade.

Outside of school, Dominic spends his weekdays operating a dog-walking business that he started and his weekends working at an aquarium store near his home. He has also begun volunteering with the Emily Program Foundation, which addresses eating disorders and body image issues. When not working or volunteering, Dominic is often practicing the clarinet or piano.

Dominic is currently enrolled in four Advanced Placement (AP) courses, having previously taken four others since his sophomore year. He is also enrolled in Spanish V CE (Concurrent Enrollment).

Here is what Dominic had to say during a recent interview:

District 197: What has been your favorite class at Sibley?
Dominic Moog: My favorite class that I’ve taken at Sibley was AP Biology with Mr. (Eric) Friberg. I just learned so much about what I was interested in. It was challenging, but it was something that I really enjoyed.

How do you balance your time between schoolwork, co-curricular activities, work, etc.?
I’m very much a time budgeter; I’m really good at planning out my time. Jazz choir is always in the mornings so that helps. Afterschool I have the dog-walking business going on, but I can still commit to a set amount of time to practice piano and band. After that I’ll work on homework as much as I need to.

Is there a book you’ve read, movie you’ve seen or piece of music you’ve listened to that has changed your way of thinking or inspired you?
One book that I recent read for the Emily Program Foundation was called Fat is a Family Affair. It was really interesting and talked about the effect of family psychology and family sociology on someone’s relationship with food. I’ve always wondered why people eat the way they do and why it is so different across the world and across cultures. It was interesting to see that it often comes down to individual and family psychology.



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Monte FischerName:
Monte Fischer
Hometown: South St. Paul
Graduation Plans: Considering several four-year universities, including Vanderbilt, the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. If accepted, he would love to attend an Ivy League school in pursuit of a mathematics degree, before working as a researcher or mathematician.

Monte Fischer credits the wide selection of AP courses for influencing his decision to attend Henry Sibley. While at Sibley, he has taken or is currently enrolled in nine AP courses. In addition to his coursework, Monte is a member of the Sibley concert band, marching band, and jazz band where he plays trumpet. He is also a member of National Honor Society and the Sibley math team, serving as a captain during his senior year.

Outside of school, Monte works at the Wentworth branch of the Dakota County Library System, volunteering at the library prior to earning the paid position. He also plays guitar.

In May 2015, Monte was one of just 48 Minnesota high school students to be named a Scholar of Distinction by the Minnesota Department of Education. He was also recently named a recipient of the Harvard Book Award.

Here is what Monte had to say during a recent interview:

District 197: What has been your favorite class at Sibley?
Monte Fischer: Mr. (Glenn) Skov’s Advanced World Literature was my favorite class that I’ve ever taken. Apart from that, I’ve enjoyed Mr. (Erik) Kluznik’s calculus classes.

How do you balance your time between schoolwork, co-curricular activities, work, etc.?
I do as much as I can on the days that I don’t work, so that on the days that I do, I am not staying up late into the night. I just focus on the things that I’m doing and avoid potential distractions.

Is there a book you’ve read, movie you’ve seen or piece of music you’ve listened to that has changed your way of thinking or inspired you?
Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt. It was the first book on economics that I had ever read. Economics has been a longtime side hobby of mine. The book introduced me into an entirely different way of thinking about the world. Thinking about not only what you can immediately see, but also the unseen effects, the opportunity cost if you will, of the alternative things that would have resulted from different choices. It was really eye opening for me.