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Wustenberg is named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist

Lauren Wustenberg is one of those people who enjoys a good challenge.

For instance, the challenge of juggling time: the Northfield High School senior is on the yearbook committee, she participates in a youth and government program through the YMCA. She's a Link Leader, providing peer guidance and assistance to underclassmen. She's vice president of her concert choir, she loves to shoot photos and she participates in the NHS semi-annual musical, Rock and Roll Revival.

And somehow she manages to pull pretty decent grades and test well.

So well, in fact, that Wustenberg has been named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. She was first named to the National Merit Scholarship list of about 50,000 after getting good marks on her PSATs. Then she found out she had made the next cut -- that she was one of 300 kids from Minnesota, five of them from her school, among the 16,000 semifinalists in the prestigious competition.

Her next step is to take the SAT and take the next steps to qualify as one of the top 8,000 finalists. She took the SATs already, then had to write an essay and get a couple of recommendations from teachers and a school counselor.

Now, she's waiting to hear if she makes the next round.

But again, she likes a challenge. Wustenberg is an Empire township resident, and she attended Farmington schools through fifth grade. But she's also pretty fond of accelerated learning programs. When she was younger, she and her older brother were looking for more advanced placement classes. They found them in Northfield.

"We loved the personal relationship we could build with the teachers," she said.

Apparently those AP classes paid off. And she's pretty proud of that, too.

"It's such an honor to know that all the hard work I put into preparing for that test and my high school career has really paid off," she said. "I work really hard because have to drive 20 minutes just to get to Northfield, so this really makes me appreciate the education I get down there."

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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