National Merit® Scholarship Program Finalists Announced

(Reno, Nev., Mar. 9, 2017) – The National Merit Scholarship® Program has announced which of the 16,000 Semifinalists named in September 2016 – representing less than one percent of high school students – have met all the requirements to advance to Finalist standing in the competition. All Finalists will be considered for National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2017.

Bishop Manogue Catholic High School (BMCHS) is proud to announce all 5 of the school’s Semifinalists have moved on to be named Finalists. The 5 BMCHS Finalists are: Glenn Bydalek, Jackson Cook, Madeline Leppla, Grace Ring and Erik Verhey. The 2016-17 school year marks the 3rd time in the school’s history to have had 5 National Merit Scholarship Finalists.

The 15,000 Finalists nationwide will move on to the next round of selection to determine if they have been selected as one of the 7,500 Merit Scholarship® winners. In March 2017, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) will begin mailing scholarship offers to winners at their home addresses and confidential notices to their high school principals. Announcements of Merit Scholar® designees will be made by NMSC in April, May, June and July.

About Our Scholars

Bishop Manogue Catholic High School’s National Merit Scholarship Finalists include:

Glenn Bydalek

In addition to his rigorous academic schedule, Glenn also has an impressive list of extra-curricular activities he consistently maintains. Glenn has won the National French Exam as a bronze medalist two years in a row. He is also busy outside of the classroom, winning #1 Singles on the school’s tennis team, a 4A All-League honorable mention, and winner of multiple local tournaments. Glenn is also a member of the school’s golf team, an expert skier, plays guitar, drums and is classically trained on the piano, participating in multiple competitive performances at Reno Youth Music Festival. Glenn is also vice president of the school’s Italian Club, a member of the French Club and Squires, a Catholic service club where he has participated in various service projects including toy drives, food drives and sending Christmas cards to veterans overseas.

Jackson Cook

In addition to being in the top 10% of the senior class here at Bishop Manogue, he has been a member of the Principal’s Honor Roll every year, beginning in 9th grade. Jackson has the honor of earning the AP Scholar Award and two National Latin Exam Awards, both Summa Cum Laude (9th grade) and Magna Cum laude (11th grade) as well as participating in the annual Science Bowl. Jackson has also played both JV and Varsity Baseball, JV Football, Varsity Tennis, Varsity Track & Field, achieving the 2014 Babe Ruth All-Star State Champion Award and the 2016 Nevada All-State Academic Team. When he’s not on the field, Jackson is also a self-taught guitar player and advanced recreational skier. He also works part-time in Health Information Management and has volunteered in a number of capacities including as a Latin, Chemistry and Math tutor, served on a Panama Missions Trip and as a volunteer for the Special Olympics as well as participated as a Member of the Nevada Youth Legislature.

Madeline Leppla

This Harvard Prize Book Award winner has earned the President’s Honor Roll every semester of high school to date and is a member of the National Honor Society, U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad and has earned 2nd place in the Rotary Club Speech Competition. As a member of the tennis team for the last three years, she has also achieved a place on the All-State Academic Team and is the co-founder and vice president of the school’s Chemistry tutoring club. She has also achieved the status of a NAUI Certified scuba diver and is a committed dancer, placing 1st and 3rd in the National qualifiers for competitive dance and winning the Judges’ Choice Award. With a heart to give back, Madeline has served as treasurer, vice president of activities, president and co-president of the National Charity League. She has also served the community through volunteering at the Nevada Children’s Museum, Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation, Reno/Sparks Gospel Mission, Sierra Association of Foster Families, Boys and Girls Club, St. Vincent’s and Reno Senior Outreach.

Grace Ring

As a member of the Academic Team, Miner Detail newspaper staff and National Honor Society Member, Grace is quick to be involved in a multitude of school activities, including recently founding the film production club and serving as the vice president of the gaming club. In addition to her Bishop Manogue coursework and activities, she is also currently attending the University of Nevada, Reno as a non-degree student enrolled in Spanish to continue her robust language education. As a member of the Alpine Ski Race Team, Grace has lettered as a member of the Varsity Ski Team earning a 1st place state championship title. Grace also has a passion for STEM fields earning her a place as an intern for AmeriCorps in outdoor environmental education for the Great Basin Institute, where she works with young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to spur an interest in science and art. Grace has also used this knowledge to work part-time as a Counselor-in-Training for the Great Basin Institute as well as a Ski Instructor, fully certified in First Aid, CPR and AED by the American Heart Association. She has earned numerous awards including the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, the AP Scholar Award, is a member of the Bishop Manogue’s Principal’s Honor Roll and most recently has been named a candidate for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Erik Verhey

As a member of the Principal’s Honor Roll since 2013 and Harvard Prize Book Winner, Eric has also received the AP Scholar with Distinction Award as well as two National French Exam Awards, in both 1st and 2nd place. As president of Bishop Manogue’s French Club and president of the Italian Club and secretary of the Chemistry Club, Erik is also an avid golfer and member of the school’s Varsity Golf team, earning both the FCWT Academic All-American Award and a finalist for the AJGA-USGA President’s Leadership Award. Erik has carved out a place in the Nevada Division 1 Boys Golf All-State Academic Team for three years in a row. He also enjoys giving back to the community completing over 500 hours of service in the past few years and founding the Northern Nevada affiliate of the Harmony Project.


Media Contact:

Amy Ventetuolo





About Bishop Manogue Catholic High School

Bishop Manogue Catholic High School (BMCHS) is a faith-based, college preparatory high school in Reno, Nevada. Established in 1948, BMCHS is the only Catholic high school in Northern Nevada, providing students with a complete high school experience rooted in faith. Bishop Manogue is proud to report a 99% college matriculation rate, ACT & SAT scores that far exceed state and national averages and through its rich history has produced over 5,000 Alumni. It is a separately incorporated diocesan school operated under the authority of the Diocesan Bishop, Randolph R. Calvo. For information on Bishop Manogue Catholic High School, visit                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ###

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