"More Than a Score" Day 2 - Meet Our National Merit Semifinalists
Posted Sep 15 2011
More than a Score - Day 2
This is the second in a three-day series of profiles about Baylor’s nine 2011 National Merit Semifinalists. Baylor School is proud to once again have more National Merit Semifinalists than any area school. The Baylor seniors who have been named Semifinalists are among the 16,000 highest scorers nationwide of the 1.5 million students who took the PSAT/NMSQT, a test of critical reading, math, and writing skills in their junior year.
But while Baylor is justifiably proud of its Semifinalists, we value these outstanding students for more than just their superior performance on a test. They contribute to the Baylor community in the classroom, on the playing field, in the arts, and by taking leadership roles.
Meet today’s National Merit Semifinalists: Dabney Randall, Paige Elliott, and Christian Carbone.
Dabney Randall says that she likes everything about Baylor. “I love the campus, I love being a boarder, and I love my dorm moms, my teachers, and my friends.” She joined the student body as a junior from Jackson, Miss. after her mother found the school’s website online.
Dabney particularly enjoys her English and history classes. She has quickly gotten involved with Baylor’s theater department and enjoys set design and working as part of the stage crew. She also participates in dance. “At my previous school, I ran track and cross country, participated in my church’s youth group, and tutored children and served food at a local soup kitchen, among other activities, as part of community service,” said Dabney. “I was also a member of Service Club and Latin Club.”
Dabney enjoys cooking, and although she now plans to become a lawyer, there was a time when she thought she would grow up to be a chef. “I owe my love of cooking to my grandmother and to my expansive collection of cookbooks.”
Dabney credits her success on the PSAT/NMSQT (and perhaps her interest in law) to her reasoning ability.
Paige Elliott entered Baylor as a seventh grader from Shrewsbury, Mass., where there were 500 students per grade at her school. “I really like the smaller class size, being outside between classes, and the teachers at Baylor.”
Paige is as happy in a chemistry lab or working on a challenging calculus problem and she is playing sports. She plays outside defense for the Baylor soccer team that was the state runner-up in 2009 and took the state championship in 2010. She is also a middle distance runner, who runs the 400 and 800. She was twice on relay teams that broke the school record in the 4 x 800.
Paige was a participant on the 2011 Jim Pearce Leadership Trip and a Freshman Trip leader. She is a Writing Center tutor, is on the executive council of the National Honor Society, and is a member of Red Circle.
Paige has been pursued by many schools for her outstanding soccer ability, and she has made a verbal commitment to Lehigh University, which she chose for its strong engineering program. As excited as she is about college, she will miss Baylor. “This is the longest I’ve been somewhere. By the end of senior year, I will have been at Baylor for six, years; it feels like home to me.”
Christian Carbone, a Distinguished Scholar from Brentwood, Tenn., Christian says that he wasn’t very mature when he began boarding as a Baylor freshman “I wasn’t used to doing things on my own; I relied on my parents.Christian first heard of Baylor through its swimming program. He is the 2011 state champ in the 200 IM, and he qualified this past summer for the Olympic trials in the 400 IM. He is being recruited by five Ivy League colleges, and while swimming is very important to him, his choice of school will be based on academics. He will select the school that best prepares for graduate school, where he plans to study finance and become an investment banker.
Christian is president of the Baylor Investment Society, a group he founded in 2010 for students interested in learning about economics and investment philosophy. Christian plays the stock market and invests in gold and silver; when he is 18 he plans to purchase real estate.
A member of Student Academic Council, Peer Support Network, and National Honor Society, Christian is a prefect in Harrison Hall and was selected for the 2011 David M. Abshire Civic Leadership Trip. His favorite subject is history—“it gives you a good perspective on why things are the way they are today, and it can also predict how things might occur in the future”—and he has enjoyed the art classes he has taken at Baylor.
“Baylor has molded me into who I am, and I will carry it with me the rest of my life.”