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Two Gilmour Academy Seniors Named National Merit Finalists

Samantha Bauman '14, of South Euclid
Samantha Bauman '14, of South Euclid

GATES MILLS, Ohio, February 21—Gilmour Academy was recently notified that two of its students were named National Merit finalists: Samantha Bauman ’14, of South Euclid, and Alexander Clapacs ’14, of Gates Mills. Both were named semifinalists in September and are now among the approximately 15,000 students nationwide who have been named finalists. As such, they are in consideration for National Merit scholarships. Scholarship winners will be announced beginning in March.

Both Bauman and Clapacs are honors students who are leaders in their respective extracurricular activities.

Bauman has earned highest honors academically, is a member of the National Honor Society and has earned the Headmaster’s Award at the end of her freshman, sophomore and junior years. By the time she graduates, she will have taken seven Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

For the second year, she is editor-in-chief of TILT, the school’s literary magazine. She is also a member of Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Club. This past summer, she participated in the school’s Catalyst program, spending an average of 40 hours per week for five weeks doing a research project with a physicist at Cleveland State University. In college, she plans to study biomedical engineering with a possible double major in physics.

Her high PSAT score and her cumulative grade point average of 4.1 also earned Bauman distinction as a 2013-2014 National Hispanic Scholar by the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP). The NHRP was initiated in 1983 to identify outstanding Hispanic/Latino high school students. This year, the NHRP recognized 5,300 Hispanic/Latino students from a pool of more than 259,000 who took the 2012 PSAT/NMSQT® (National Merit Scholarship Qualifiying Test). Students recognized by NHRP are at least one-quarter Hispanic/Latino and earned a minimum PSAT/NMSQT score for their region.

In addition to focusing on her academics, Bauman has been playing ice hockey since was six years old. She is an accomplished player and is captain of Gilmour’s girls’ prep hockey team.

Clapacs is a member of the National Honor Society, the Cum Laude Society and the winner of the Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute medal, awarded annually to a student in the top 10 percent of his/her class who excels in math and sciences and exhibits significant involvement in extracurriculars. Clapacs began taking AP courses as a sophomore and will have completed seven by the time he graduates. He plans to study computer science in college and is currently taking an online computer programming course through Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Clapacs is also a talented runner. He was the captain of the track team during his junior season and anchored the state championship 4x800m relay. He was also captain of the cross country team this fall. After the season, he was named a Plain Dealer Honorable Mention All-Star and a News-Herald First Team All-Star. On the course, he was the district individual runner-up and he placed third at the regional meet. He will graduate this May with the third fastest 5k time in school history – 16:20. For his talents, Clapacs has been named Academic All-Ohio four times and an All-Ohio runner twice.

Additionally, Clapacs co-founded the school’s Engineering Club, is vice president of the Amateur Radio Club, became a licensed ham radio operator in November and plays the guitar.

Gilmour Academy is a Catholic, independent, coeducational, college-preparatory school.  It is sponsored by the Congregation of Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Ind., and offers a Montessori program beginning at 18-months-old and a Lower School, Middle School and Upper School. A boarding program is offered to students in Grades 7 through 12. It is located at 34001 Cedar Road in Gates Mills, Ohio.  

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