Sibley students recognized by National Merit Program
Four Henry Sibley students recognized by National Merit Scholarship Program
Posted on 12/15/2014

Henry Sibley High School and School District 197 congratulate Sibley seniors David Wilton, Adrian Rocke, Katheryn Menssen and Brandon Krisko who have each been recognized 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 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores qualify for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program. About 34,000 of qualifiers receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise, including Wilton, Rocke, Menssen and Krisko.

The four students were congratulated by the District 197 School Board at their Dec. 1 meeting.


Name: David Wilton
Hometown: Mendota Heights
Other District 197 Schools attended: Friendly Hills
Graduation Plans: Hopes to attend Stanford University and major in either Biology or Physiology in hopes of becoming a physician.

David Wilton 

David Wilton has been involved with several organizations during his time at Sibley, including the Nordic Ski team and math team. During his junior year, David helped found the Sibley table tennis team and serves as a captain this year. He is a four-year member of the Henry Sibley Student Council, serving as the President during his senior year. David is the Vice President of the Sibley chapter of the National Honor Society and is participating in Business Professionals of America (BPA) this year as well. In the spring, David is a member of the boys' tennis team, serving as a captain since his sophomore year.

Outside of school, David is heavily involved with his synagogue's youth group, serving as one of its two presidents. He is also a lifeguard at the Water Park of America.

David has taken several advanced level courses while at Sibley, including seven Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Among his favorite classes are Advanced World Literature with Glenn Skov, both AP Calculus classes with Erik Kluznik and AP Physics with Peter Bohacek. David credits all three of those teachers with helping push him to success.

In addition to being named a National Merit Commended Scholar, David has also been named an AP Scholar by receiving a score of 3 or higher (out of a possible 5) on three or more AP exams.

Here are some other questions and responses from David:

District 197: What would you consider to be the best thing about Sibley?
David Wilton: I think it's awesome that you can meet a bunch of different types of people, whether that is by race, religion, or socioeconomic status. Sibley has helped me build the skills that I need to interact with a diverse population.

Is there a book you've read, movie you've seen or piece of music you've listened to recently that may have changed your way of thinking or inspired you?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho has really changed the way I think. It highlights the connectivity of everything in the universe, and has given me a more global outlook and perspective on life.


Name: Adrian Rocke
Hometown: Mendota Heights
Other District 197 Schools attended: Moreland, Somerset and Heritage Middle School
Graduation Plans: Hopes to attend the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, focusing on music education in order to become an orchestra director.

Adrian Rocke
              
During his time at Sibley Adrian Rocke has most enjoyed his involvement in the orchestra, where he serves as the 'First Chair' for the cello section, directing sectionals and assisting his fellow cellists when the orchestra director is unavailable. He has also enjoyed his calculus classes with Mr. Kluznik, as well as the physics courses he took with Mr. Bohacek. He has also taken several advanced courses, including seven AP classes.

Adrian is a member of the math team and is a captain this year, and will participate in the spring musical as a member of the pit. He also serves as the student representative to the District 197 School Board.

Outside of school, Adrian is heavily involved with his church, handling the email traffic and announcements as its webmaster. When time permits, Adrian is also a member of a local 4H club, which is engaged in an extended community service project with Neighbors, Inc.

Along with the National Merit commendation, Adrian was named an AP Scholar with Honor in 2014. AP Scholar with Honor awards are given to students who receive an average score of 3.25 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.

Here are some other questions and responses from Adrian:

What would you consider to be the best thing about Sibley?
The ability to find your niche and build lasting friendships. The group of friends you hang out with tend to have the same interests, so you identify with a group of people and you all become really close.

Is there a book you've read, movie you've seen, or piece of music you've listened to recently that may have changed your way of thinking or inspired you?
I watched a TED Talk recently about education and creativity. It was presented by Ken Robinson and he talked about the need to encourage creativity in schools. I'm also starting to read his book Out of Our Minds.


Name: Katheryn Menssen
Hometown: Eagan
Other District 197 Schools attended: Pilot Knob and Friendly Hills
Graduation Plans: Considering attending Iowa State University or Grinnell College in Iowa to study a combination of physics, chemistry and mathematics.

Katie Menssen 

Katie Menssen has taken six AP courses during her time at Sibley and was named an AP Scholar with Honor in 2014. Among her favorite classes were chemistry courses by John Kelly and Greg Schmidt, whom Katie credits with encouraging and inspiring her to go into science. She also thanked Mr. Skov with helping her develop as a writer and Mr. Kluznik for inspiring her interest in math.

Outside of the classroom, Katie is a member of the Sibley girls' tennis team, the track and field team, and the math team. At home she can usually be found with a book in hand or playing the flute.

Here are some other questions and responses from Katie:

What would you consider to be the best thing about Sibley?
I think the best things about Sibley are the teachers. I think that's the most important thing about a school. The teachers I've had have been very good. I've had a lot of teachers that have really impacted my life.

Is there a book you've read, movie you've seen, or piece of music you've listened to recently that may have changed your way of thinking or inspired you?
I haven't read any books that have dramatically changed me, but there are a lot that have made me think about things that I haven't before. One recently was The Life and Times of Michael K by J.M. Coetzee. It made me think about the deeper meaning of freedom and the role of laws on a society.


Name: Brandon Krisko
Hometown: Mendota Heights
Other District 197 Schools attended: Mendota and Friendly Hills
Graduation Plans: Considering Washington University in St. Louis or Lawrence University in Wisconsin, where he plans to study music and neuroscience.

 Brandon Krisko

Brandon Krisko has dedicated his spare to the drama club while attending Henry Sibley, and is also a member of the choir. Most recently Brandon took on the role of the White Rabbit during the drama club's production of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Brandon is also involved with the Henry Sibley Student Council and is a member of National Honor Society. Outside of school Brandon participates in several local theaters around the Twin Cities and is also involved with his synagogue.

Although he is an active member in both the choir and the drama club, Brandon's favorite class at Sibley has been Advanced World Literature with Mr. Skov. Brandon has also taken five AP courses, with three more scheduled for his senior year. In 2014 he was named an AP Scholar with Honor and was a recipient of the Yale Alumni Association Book Award.

Here are some other questions and responses from Brandon:

What would you consider to be the best thing about Sibley?
I really like the strong relationships that teachers have with students. My teachers are not only my teachers, but they're also my mentors. They've really helped me figure out what I want to do with my life and how to get there.

Is there a book you've read, movie you've seen, or piece of music you've listened to recently that may have changed your way of thinking or inspired you?
There are two. I would say The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho because it's kind of about figuring out who you are as you grow up. It's also kind of about how you don't have to know what the end goal is; you just have to enjoy the process. The other is Night by Elie Wiesel because it has a lot to do with telling stories and being hopeful for the future.