Each year, Country Day faculty vote to determine which members of the senior class the school will nominate for several highly selective merit-based scholarships to colleges and universities in our region. While good grades certainly factor into the equation, being a top student academically is not the only criteria. Our scholarship nominees exhibit a passion for learning, as well as for interests and activities outside of the classroom. They care about others and have made the most of their time in high school. These are the kinds of traits colleges and universities are seeking in their applicants.
We wish these students all the best as they navigate an intense application and interview process. Keep reading to learn a little bit more about them and hear their advice for underclassmen.
Samantha Agisim, Robertson Scholarship (Duke/UNC-Chapel Hill)
Favorite Subject: Math—and it has been since the 4th grade! Math is everywhere you look–in art, music, and even fashion (even though the two are often considered opposites). There is not a situation in which math can't help. For example, burned cookies in the oven and started a kitchen fire? Math to the rescue! You can use math to determine how many square feet of the kitchen is burned per second to determine how long you have to salvage your favorite snacks (not speaking from personal experience, of course).
Outside of Class: I have diverse interests. I have enjoyed playing lacrosse for both Country Day and the Ultimate Lacrosse Club since 8th grade. I love the team experience of working towards a common goal. I am also on the board of the Environmental Council, where I can pursue my scientific interests while simultaneously contributing to improving sustainability on campus. I run Interfaith Club which is very near and dear to my heart as promoting religious diversity on campus is crucial to me having grown up as one of the only Jewish students in the Class of 2023. When I am not on the field or in a club meeting, you can find me going on long walks around Charlotte or crocheting!
Advice for Younger Students: If there is one thing I cannot recommend enough to optimize your high school experience, it is a planner. It sounds like something not so fun but, if you are able to keep yourself organized in a planner, there is more room for fun overall (plus, filling the pages of your planner with fun markers and stickers can really liven it up!). When I came to Upper School, I gave the provided planner a try but found myself attached to the Middle School format. So, I found a company that custom-makes planner pages (thank you PurpleTrail!) and replicated the class-by-class format I had been using since 5th grade—I still use it today!
Superpower: My hearing. I can hear a pin drop even in the loudest of rooms. I hear conversations going on outside my house, even with the TV on or music playing in the background. Even Apple’s new noise-cancelling headphones can’t compromise my supersonic abilities. My family may not agree that this is a good superpower however, because they can never get away with anything!
Peyton Deets, Morehead-Cain Scholarship (UNC-Chapel Hill)
Favorite Subject: Science because I like how we can apply what we have learned in class during hands-on experiments.
Outside of Class: I dance with Charlotte School of Ballet and Charlotte Youth Ballet. I am also a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor through Country Day and go to Rama Road Elementary every Monday during lunch.
Advice for Younger Students: Work on schoolwork during any free time you have throughout the week so that you have more time to relax and have fun with your friends during the weekends.
Superpower: Baking amazing chocolate chip cookies. I love baking and have tested many chocolate chip cookie recipes in search of the perfect one.
Colin Kelly, Belk Scholarship (Davidson College)
Favorite Subject: This year, I have really been enjoying organic chemistry because of how it requires you to visualize the structure of different molecules and alter their conformations through drawings and shapes. It requires spatial reasoning skills and really makes you think hard, which is challenging but rewarding.
Outside of Class: I play varsity soccer in the fall and am part of the varsity wrestling team in the winter, which eats up a lot of my time, but I love competing and being part of a team. I also play guitar and the saxophone, and oftentimes get together with some buddies to play music. I have other hobbies as well like gaming and flying RC model airplanes.
Advice for Younger Students: Find activities that you can stay consistent with throughout all of high school instead of, for example, trying to join every available club because you think it will make you stand out. Participate in sports or find some kind of afterschool team activity–trust me!
Superpower: The ability to pick up a new skill/task (relatively) quickly; I feel like I have a natural intuition and competency for doing new things, most of which is driven by a curiosity or contemplative thinking.
Dillon Kercher, Morehead-Cain Scholarship (UNC-Chapel Hill)
Favorite Subject: Psychology because I find it interesting to learn about how and why our brain functions the way it does and how this affects our abilities and decision-making.
Outside of Class: I spend most of my time wrestling or playing football. However, I am also the Chair of Mission and Advocacy on my church’s Youth Council where we complete service projects around Charlotte. As a hobby, I enjoy creating art and am a part of NAHS (National Art Honor Society).
Advice for Younger Students: Making valuable connections with your teachers is very important. You’ll not only be more engaged with the course’s content but will also make it more comfortable for you to reach out when you need help. Some of my best classroom experiences were with teachers with whom I was able to form connections, regardless of the subject matter.
Superpower: My work ethic and ability to work at something until I find a promising solution.
Eliza McCurdy, Jefferson Scholarship (UVA)
Favorite Subject: Chemistry because I love being in the lab and having hands-on experiences to make connections with the material taught in class.
Outside of Class: I am involved in sports, including competitive gymnastics and school soccer as well as volunteering in our community and leading a youth group through my church. During my senior year, I have enjoyed spending more time with my family and friends than typical of my high school experience thus far.
Advice for Younger Students: Involve yourself with our Country Day community by seeking out your teachers, cheering on your peers at sports events, and branching outside of your typical group of friends.
Superpower: I am detail oriented and observant both in the classroom and in my relationships outside of school.
Sid Mody, Robertson Scholarship (Duke/UNC-Chapel Hill)
Favorite Subject: Math because it allows me to find new ways to solve any problem, and every approach works as long as you get the right answer, which is really cool.
Outside of Class: My main time sink is robotics, but I also am part of Model UN, play ultimate, volunteer with Charlotte Sister Cities, and work as a tutor.
Advice for Younger Students: To me, making the most of your time in Upper School is really about embracing all the traditions and experiences that Country Day has to offer, both inside and outside the classroom. If you take every opportunity you get, you’ll have a lot of fun!
Superpower: Time management and making sure I get everything done no matter how busy a day might be.
Everett Norton, Jefferson Scholarship (UVA)
Favorite Subject: Anything math related–Calculus with Mr. Bach was one of my favorite classes that I have taken!
Outside of School: I run cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track, and I work part-time at Ben and Jerry’s. I also love to volunteer for RunningWorks, an organization that provides aid to the homeless through service opportunities at running races around Charlotte.
Advice for Younger Students: Learn how to prioritize and eliminate unnecessary distractions. It may sound cliché, but knowing how to get your work done efficiently is crucial so that you can create free time for yourself and enjoy your four years of high school.
Superpower: I tend to excel at math, but I am always eager to learn how I can do better and improve my skills.