Local senior merits honor

Phillip Knutson, a senior at Elk River High School, has been named a 2012 National Merit Scholar.  He is the only student in the school district to receive the prestigious honor and the first from ERHS student since 2007.

Phillip Knutson with classmates.

More than 1.5 million students from 22,000 high schools applied and of these 8,300 were selected nationwide.  Knutson was one of 21,983 Minnesota students from 438 schools to be considered.  He joins 86 other statewide students to be named a National Merit Scholar.  Last fall, Knutson was one of approximately 16,000 semifinalists named.  Semifinalists are the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.

With the selection Knutson receives a Lincoln Scholarship to the University of Nebraska where he plans to study Mechanical Engineering.

Knutson was selected based on a variety of factors, including his PSAT scores, academic performance, an essay and completion of a rigorous application process.  He excels in a variety of AP and College in the Schools courses.  The 18-year-old is a member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish Club, the Boy Scouts of America and is the president of the Knowledge Bowl.  He also plays guitar for the Central Lutheran Church Youth Worship Band and volunteers as a math tutor.

“Phillip is an exceptional academic, engaged in a tenacious pursuit of his personal vision and ideals,” Georjean Fischer-Fabel said.