Basalt senior named National Merit semifinalist |

Basalt senior named National Merit semifinalist

Suzie Romig

Basalt High School student Danny Delany could have spent his summer break before his senior year hanging out with friends and lounging by the pool, but instead he was working full-time writing computer code in various languages for a graphic and Web design company in Basalt.Delany could goof off a bit during his independent study class, but you will find him diligently studying in the school library.The senior’s hard work paid off as he recently was named a National Merit semifinalist and ranked 32 among the top-scoring students in Colorado in the 2005 National Merit Scholarship competition. The strong results were based on scores from the 2003 PSAT taken early in his junior year.Semifinalists are the highest scorers in each of the U.S. states and represent less than 1 percent of each state’s high school seniors.”It’s really quite an accomplishment,” principal Jim Waddick said. Waddick said he is impressed with Delany as a skilled, well-rounded, self-motivated, resilient student with a great sense of humor.”He is a great kid,” Waddick said. “He really has developed all aspects of his life academically, artistically and socially. Every aspect of him is outstanding.”Many people can relate to SAT scores, where a perfect mark is 1,600. After two chances on the SATs during his junior year, Delany scored a 1,570, with a perfect 800 in math and a 770 in language arts. His ACT results are not shabby, either, with a score of 34 out of a possible 36. Delany said he plans to apply his math skills in the future to study cutting-edge technology in modern physics research such as lasers, optics and quantum mechanics. His likely college path is as an engineering physics major at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he hopes to graduate in three years.He already has taken three years of math credits plus other college-level classes through CU Succeed, CU Online or Virtual High School programs all available at Basalt High.The senior serves as vice president of the National Honor Society and Key Club at BHS, as well as being involved in the school’s photography and math and science clubs. Outside of school he has volunteered for Computers for Kids and helps with service projects with his church youth group. Delany is working on an essay about his interests, goals and leadership skills to be considered for a variety of scholarships through the 50-year-old, nonprofit National Merit program.

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