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Michael Nelson, a senior at Northwest Area School District, was named a Commended Student in the 2009 National Merit Scholarship Program. Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2009 competition by taking the 2007 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Nelson will receive a letter of commendation from the school and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Kelly Bronson, daughter of William and Deborah Bronson, Hunlock Creek, earned a Trustee Scholarship at Elmira College. Bronson, class of 2012, is majoring in mathematics. The Trustee Scholarship is valued at $72,000 over four years. The scholarship is awarded based on rank in secondary school class, overall academic achievement and test scores.

Christopher Gray, son of Shelley Gross-Gray, Carlisle, and Thomas Gray, Berwick, was appointed as the student member of Shippensburg University’s Council of Trustees. The 1 1-member council is involved in various aspects of the university’s operation, including review of and approval of policies and procedures, academic programs, certain fees and purchases and contracts. Gray, a junior political science major, will serve on the board until he graduates. He is also vice president of the Student Association. He is active on numerous student and university committees. Gray plans to work for the federal government and begin a career in politics after graduation.

Diane Knoll, an employee at the Luzerne Intermediate Unit, received the “Support Staff of the Year” award. The award is voted on by all Luzerne Intermediate Unit staff annually.

Charles Bliss and Nathaniel Schloder, juniors at Tunkhannock Area High School, were the first-place winners of a competition held at the annual leadership academy sponsored by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Tech Prep Consortium and hosted by Luzerne County Community College. Juniors from area high schools participated in a series of workshops covering topics such as teamwork, communications, critical thinking, ethics, problem solving, customer service, quality improvement and conflict resolution. Students had to complete a project using skills learned during the academy.

Local King’s College students Stephen Breha, Wilkes-Barre; Ann Kaluzavich, Pittston; Nataliya Gitman, Wilkes-Barre; Amanda Alberola, Hanover Township; Jason George, Pittston; Irena Libman, Wilkes-Barre; Abigail Race, Exeter; Danielle Antonini, Wilkes-Barre; and Johnna Miller, Duryea, received recognition for earning their College Reading & Learning Association certificates during National Tutoring Week. They were among 33 King’s tutors to earn this certification.

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