National Merit Commended Students

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The National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships that began in 1955. More than 1.5 million students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program each year. Approximately 34,000 students are named Commended Students.

Christopher Cokinos is the son of Tracy and Peter Cokinos of Frankfort, is a graduate of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin School (Orland Hills) and a parishioner at St. Francis Assisi Church (Orland Park). Chris scored a perfect 36 on the ACT test. The honor roll student is member of the National Honor Society and is an Illinois State Scholar and received the PCHS Algebra I Honors Award, Biology Honors Award, English I Honors Award, AP United States History Award, Geometry Honors Award, Chemistry Honors Award, Spanish 2 Award, AP English 3 Award, Pre-Calculus Honors Award, AP United States Government Award, and the Church History Award. He has been a member of the Augustinian Youth Ministry, Habitat for Humanity, the Mock Trial Team, Scholastic Bowl Team and he attended the Student Augustinian Values Institute. Chris is also a member of the Chain Skimmers Water Ski Show Team.

Cokinos says that spirituality has been one of the most helpful things to him at PCHS. “When I have had a rough day at school or at home, I can always count on my friends and teachers helping me out. It is this spiritual bond that we all feel as members of PCHS that makes the community a truly special place.”

Ryan Hilty, son of Dave and Carleen Hilty of Mokena, is a graduate of St. Mary School (Mokena) and is a parishioner at St. Mary Church. The honor roll student is an Illinois State Scholar and member of the National Honor Society. He has received many academic awards including the Geometry Honors Award, Algebra 2 Honors Award, Celtic Scholar Award, AP Scholar with Distinction, ICTM Regional Math Contest received 1st place on Algebra II individual test. He is also a member of the Augustinian Youth Ministry, Habitat for Humanity, Math Team, Scholastic Bowl, and the Sandwich Patrol. Ryan is also captain of the golf team and he also plays baseball for the Celtics.

Hilty credits PCHS for preparing him for college and “giving me a vast range of knowledge and helped him develop a strong work ethic and drive that will help me excel in my studies in college.” He hopes to study Biology or Bioengineering in college.

Madeleine McMaster, daughter of Keith and Rebecca McMaster of Tinley Park, is a graduate of Southwest Chicago Christian School (Tinley Park) and a parishioner at Christ Community Church.
The honor roll student is an Illinois State Scholar, member of the National Honor Society, International Club, Earth Club and Math Team. She played volleyball for her first year and is a hurdler/jumper with the Track and Field Team. She is also a student manager of the football team. Her activities outside Providence include: Playing the violin, teaching English as a second language, volunteering for Vacation Bible School at her church and taking a Mission trip once a summer. She hopes to study International Relations in college.

Madeleine states that “Providence has prepared me for college by giving me a strong academic knowledge base and guiding me through the steps of the college search and application process.”

Anna Santschi is the daughter of Doris and Mark Santschi, and is a parishioner at St. Jude Church (New Lenox). The honor roll student is an Illinois State Scholar, member of the National Honor Society, Augustinian Youth Ministry, Habitat for Humanity, Math Team, Art Club, Pop Culture Club. She is a sacristan for the pastoral team and is a member of the Sandwich Patrol that prepares and distributes food for the homeless. She has been awarded 3 Student of Month awards, Introduction to Catholicism Award, Spanish 1 Award, English 2 Honors Award, Macro Economics Award, Physics Honors Award, and Intro to Computer Programming Award.

According to Santschi, “Providence has deepened my desire to learn, which makes me want to do my best in my studies. It has also prepared me academically by offering challenging courses in which I am able to learn while still pushing me to better myself.”