A Sultana High School senior is the only one in the city to be named a National Merit Semi-Finalist. Kim Zoltan said she was excited and proud to receive the honor, but she did not let the title get to her head.


"I realize that there are many others such as my friends that could have qualified if they had only taken the test and that I still have several selection processes to pass through before I potentially receive any form of scholarship," she said.


According to the National Merit Scholarship Competition Web site, the NMSC has recognized 3 million students and provided more than 335,000 scholarships worth more than $1.3 billion. About 1,600 high-scoring participants in each year's scholarship program become semi-finalists, according to the Web site.


While academics is important to Zoltan math being her best subject, English being the most interesting to her but sculpture being the class she enjoys the most she also is involved in various extracurricular activities. She is president of the Mock Trial team; vice president of the Key Club, Green School, and Student Energy Management Team; and she has participated in cross country and track and field among others, she said.


Zoltan also wakes up early every school day so she can attend Seminary with youth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from 5:45 to 6:35 before spending her day in classes, she said.


While she has not received the scholarship yet, she said she would attend whichever college offered her the most financial aid. She said until she knows for sure though, she was applying to Stanford, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly Pomona, UC Berkeley and BYU Provo universities.


She said she planned on majoring in mechanical engineering with the goal of becoming an environmental engineer.


"My family is of German and Romanian descent on my dad's side while it is mainly English and Cherokee on my mom's," Zoltan said. "My father is an immigrant to the United States so having a child go off to college is a great achievement for him."