Before last week, Conard High senior Jordan Hutensky had never been called down to the principal’s office.
So when she was summoned to see Principal Julio Duarte, she could only speculate why.
“I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, what happened?’” she said in an interview at Conard on Friday.
Turns out that Jordan, an excellent student and accomplished musician, was being told that she was a National Merit Scholar semifinalist.
Not bad for the budding architect - she hopes to attend either Cornell, Rensselaer, Northeastern or Wentworth to learn about sustainability and green design.
“I’ve been interested in buildings ever since I was a little girl,” said Jordan, who has played the violin since she was 4 and has recently picked up the electric bass and the upright bass.
Conard administrators, for their part, are thrilled for Jordan being named a National Merit Scholar semifinalist.
“She’s fabulous,” counselor Karen Mortensen said. “We’ve got a lot of fabulous kids in the school. But she’s one of the kids with the ‘X Factor.’ She’s high-achieving academically. … She’s just a great kid.”
Mortensen said that an example of Jordan’s focus is her desire to become an architect, which she has talked about for the last four years. Jordan has participated in a summer program at Temple University in Philadelphia to make her goal a reality.
“She’s just a joy to work with,” Mortensen said.
Duarte was similarly effusive in his praise.
“Jordan is an outstanding student who exemplifies what hard work and determination can accomplish,” Duarte said in an interview last Friday. “She’s a great young lady and we are honored to have her represent Conard in the National Merit Scholarship program.”
To enter the National Merit Scholarship program, students must take the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. More than 1.5 million students take the test annually, and Jordan is one of just 16,000 semifinalists.
Going forward, to become a finalist, Jordan must now write an essay and obtain a recommendation.
It’s more than just a feather in her cap. In addition to looking good on a college application, being named a National Honor Society semifinalist means that she is eligible for various scholarships.“It’s a great award and honor,” Duarte said.