This column highlights shorter announcements or updates, and helps you get a quick start to the Wilton news of the day. Have a news tip, item or something you know people are chattering about? Email us at editor@goodmorningwilton.com.

Wilton Student Awarded National Merit Scholarship

Wilton resident Jonathan Wu, a student at Rosemary Choate Hall, was just awarded a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship. Of the more than 15,000 Finalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program, 2,500 Merit Scholar designees are chosen as National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners.

According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

These Scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the Finalists and their high schools:  academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in Oct. 2017 when over 1.6 million juniors in approximately 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than 1.0% of the nation’s high school seniors, were named Semifinalists on a state-representational basis. Only these 16,000 Semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition. From the Semifinalist group, some 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2019 program, about 7,600 Finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of over $31 million in college scholarships.

Celebrating 80 Years of Community Nursery School of Wilton

On Saturday, May 4, the past and present families and teachers from Community Nursery School of Wilton (CNSW) came together at the home of Dana Nickel to mark the 80th anniversary of the little red schoolhouse in the center of town.
In a message to the community, the members of the CNSW 80th Anniversary Committee wrote, “CNSW would like to thank everyone who came out or donated–especially O’Neill’s, Nod Hill Brewery, our hostess, and of course, thank you to every parent who has ever sent a child to our school. Without you, there wouldn’t be anything to celebrate! Cheers to another 80 years of preparing Wilton’s littlest learners for kindergarten and the world beyond!”

Dr. James T. Aris Celebrates 25 Years of Dentistry in Wilton

This month James T. Aris, DMD, MAGD, PC, celebrates 25 years since opening his dental practice in Wilton. Aris says he knew early on that he wanted to pursue dentistry as a profession, and since graduating from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, he has logged over 2,000 hours of continuing education. He’s among the top 1.0% of general dentists in the U.S. who has earned a Mastership from the Academy of General Dentistry, and recently launched a continuing education school for dentists.

“We are 25-years young. I can honestly say I love to come to work every day because of the patients I’m blessed to serve, and our extraordinary professional team. I can hardly wait for what the next 25-years holds in store for dentistry,” Aris says.

WHS Student Essay Published in International Literary Journal

Wilton High School senior Audrey Elsberry has been a dedicated member of the school’s choir throughout her four years at WHS. Combining her love of music and writing, the future journalism major wrote an essay that was recently published in Girls Right the World, an international literary journal.

In the essay, Elsberry writes about listening to the prestigious WHS Madrigal choir, and describes the impact of the sound and the silence. One year after she wrote the piece, Elsberry became a Madrigal herself. An excerpt:

“I am grateful to sit in the audience this day; not doing vocal warm ups or reviewing my lyrics. Sitting in the audience drapes me in humility. To hear the performance of my talented classmates allows me to see that, without silence, sound is more difficult to define. A choir sometimes rushes from chord to chord, or cuts rests short to fill the awkward space or feel less vulnerable. I learned from my conductor that if you let the silence be its own part of the song, instead of the scraps, the effect of sound is elevated.

 

“The world in which we live is a loud one, and it is often too hard to distinguish a heartfelt ‘I love you’ from a casual ‘Hey, what’s up.’ However, if we allow ourselves to hear the silence between sounds, we can appreciate each one in the way it is intended. To hear the silence is to not rush through everyday, but to stop and let life surround you, not overwhelm you.”

The year after she wrote this piece, she became a member of the prestigious Madrigal choir she describes in the essay.