Sacred Heart Academy senior named National Merit semifinalist


Caroline Kohnert

Sacred Heart Academy senior Caroline Kohnert, daughter of Alexander and Dianne Kohnert of Fairfield, has received notification from the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program that she has been named a semifinalist in the competition. The program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

About 1.5 million juniors in nearly 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2012 PSAT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1% of United States high school seniors and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. These seniors now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,000 National Merit Scholarship awards, worth $35 million, that will be offered next spring.

A sophomore transfer student to Sacred Heart Academy, Caroline has consistently given her best effort in academics and to the school community. She is a member of Science National Honor Society, French National Honor Society, Latin National Honor Society, German National Honor Society and Math National Honor Society (Mu Alpha Theta.) Her awards include the Silver Medal in the National French Contest and Harvard Book Award.

Caroline is a member of Key Club, Knitting Club and Math League and enjoys participating in the various holiday parties thrown for the elderly Sisters at the Sacred Heart Manor.

Outside of school, Caroline plays the clarinet and was a member of the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra. She also enjoys reading, bike rides, yoga, traveling, listening to music (especially classic rock), drawing and baking, and has a passion for language and culture. Her father is German, and her mother is Chinese, so she has grown up with an appreciation of different cultures.

Having learned German as a second “first” language, Caroline considers it an important part of her life. In 2012, she obtained a German language diploma, affording her the opportunity to attend a German university. That option is still on the table, but she insists that “even if I go to college in the U.S., I will definitely do some study abroad.”

While location and college selection is undetermined, Caroline is sure she will study engineering.

“Growing up, I played Legos instead of Barbie dolls, and discovered in school that I really love math and science,” she said. “One of the classic stories in my family is that by the time I was 7 years old, I took one of my mom’s good pots and tried to boil a potato in the shower. Hopefully, my future scientific endeavors will be more successful.”

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