Vanessa L. Weese, a senior at Glen Burnie High, has been selected as a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.
The graduate of Marley Middle School lives in Marley with her parents, Gary and Barbara Weese.
In preparation for college, Vanessa's course load consists of six advance placement courses and one independent study class in economics. Upon graduating, she hopes to pursue r a career in psychology or economics.
In addition to her scholastic achievements, Vanessa is an accomplished violinist and since ninth grade has been a member of the All-County Orchestra.
The process for determining eligibility for the scholarship program began last school year. On the basis of her PSAT scores, Vanessa was Glen Burnie High's only semifinalist and one of 12 students selected in the county.
Grades, course loads and career goals are then evaluated to determine which students advance to the finals. Fewer than 1/2 of 1 percent of graduating seniors are selected as finalists, said Glen Burnie guidance counselor Joe Humphreys. Of the 14,000 finalists, 2,000 will be selected to receive a $2,000 scholarship.
Mr. Humphreys sees Vanessa's success as a testament to her perseverance.
"She sets goals and then seeks them," he said. "In my 36 years at Glen Burnie, she's the only student that I can recall scoring a perfect score on the verbal part of the PSAT."
Vanessa's father is in the military, and her mother works as an aide at Marley Middle School. Proud of their daughter's accomplishments, Barbara Weese notes her daughter's extreme modesty.
"She doesn't see herself as being anything other than an average student," she said. "But I'm her mother. I think she's exceptional."
Drawing on 25 years of experience in television journalism, WJZ newsman Don Scott gave students at Point Pleasant Elementary School a few production tips when he visited the school Thursday.
Students sat in rapt attention as the veteran news personality explained the many nuances of producing a news show -- from the importance of accounting for every second of air time to the use of a TelePrompTer.
Scott's visit was part of a reading project in Julie Taylor's fifth-grade class, which has been preparing a news broadcast based on novels.
"We're always looking for a teachable moment," Ms. Taylor said. "The children prepared news stories related to the novels they have read. The idea was to bring the story to life, make it real."
At the final taping Friday, each student had the opportunity to read a story "on the air." The program was videotaped before a live audience of parents and students.
The news show included hard news stories, editorials, weather and sports.
L "They even have lottery numbers," Ms. Taylor said, laughing.
Parents can borrow a copy of the students' broadcast for viewing.
A celebration of girls in Scouting is the focus of the fifth annual Girl Scout Jamboree from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Glen Burnie Mall.
More than 2,000 Girl Scouts are expected to enjoy performances, displays and demonstrations.
Some of the day's highlights will include a fashion show at 11 a.m. with Cadette and Senior Scouts modeling fashions provided by mall merchants. Several crafts booths give visitors the chance to "make it and take it." Information on what Scouting can offer girls will be available.
Although free to the public, visitors are encouraged to bring donations: canned goods for the Harvest for the Hungry, used books for donation to area homeless shelters and assorted toys and baby supplies that will given to foster children.
The donation of $34,000 to two area schools was the highlight of Saturday's "Day of Fun For Our Special Ones" held by members of the McGivney Council of the Knights of Columbus.
Ruth P. Eason and Marley Glen special education schools were each given $17,000 collected from a Tootsie Roll drive conducted by the council last fall.
This annual event at the Eason school attracted more than 100 special needs students and their families for a day of games, entertainment and refreshments.
A concert of sacred choral music will be performed by the Kapelle of Concordia University at 7 p.m. Saturday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 308 Oak Manor Drive.
Under the direction of Kurt Amolsch, the choir will perform works by Schultz, Hillert, Byrd, Purcel and Hassler as well as spirituals and folk songs.
The concert is free, but a goodwill offering will be collected to help offset the choir's expenses.
For information, call 766-2283.
Holy Trinity Catholic Church will begin the second in a series of RENEW themes at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. RENEW is a spiritual renewal process that relies upon group interaction to help parishioners develop a closer relationship with Jesus.
The focus of this next series is "Responding To God's Call." Members will be invited to become prayer partners to homebound people and shut-ins.
Before the meeting, members of the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree will have a spaghetti dinner from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the church hall.
Dinner is $6 per person, $10 per couple. Children under 12 can eat for free.
The church is at 7436 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd.
For information on the dinner or program, call the church office, 766-5070.