DAVIDSON, N.C. – Woodlawn School senior Isabella “Bella” Jacoby, of Huntersville, has been named a Finalist in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. She is among the approximately 15,000 Finalists throughout the nation to be recognized for their exceptional academic promise. The NMSP also announced that two other Woodlawn seniors – Natalie Buechler of Charlotte, and Spencer Gazzaway of Davidson – have been selected as Commended Scholars.

About 1.5 million students in some 22,000 high schools enter the National Merit Scholarship competition annually when they take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, but often are candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

Bella is the daughter of Mr. Richard Jacoby and Dr. Maria Pelucio. Earlier this year, she also was selected for the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP), having scored in the top 2.5% among Hispanic and Latino PSAT/NMSQT takers in our region.

Bella personifies the well-rounded Woodlawn student. Last year at graduation, she was presented with the Achievement in the Sciences award. She’s a celebrated visual artist, and is passionate about sustainability and the outdoors; in fact, she is co-founder of the Woodlawn Outdoors Club. She also is a remarkable athlete. A member of the NCISAA 1A State Champion Woodlawn School girls soccer team, Bella also qualified to swim two individual races and two relay races at the 2015 NCISAA 1A/2A State Championships (placing eighth overall in the 100 butterfly and ninth overall in the 50 freestyle). She’s a member of this year’s varsity cross country team and is also listed on the Woodlawn Track & Field Honor Roll for her performances in the 400m, 800m, and 1600m runs, as well as the long jump.

To become a Finalist, Bella and Woodlawn School submitted a detailed scholarship application providing information about her academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. The Finalists will compete for about 7,400 merit scholarships worth about $32 million. Awards are made in the spring of 2016..