VALDOSTA -- Three Valdosta High School seniors were recently named commended students in the 2005 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Katie Plunkett, 17, Amy Rutland, 17, and Kristen Tullos, 17, will each be presented a letter of commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which conducts the program. They are among 34,000 commended students nationwide who were recognized for their exceptional academic promise.

Plunkett said, "I feel honored to be recognized among some of the most intelligent teenagers in the United States."

At Valdosta High School, Plunkett cheered her team to victory as a varsity cheerleader and served as a member of the Key Club, Choir, and Student Government, having been elected class president as both a freshman and sophomore. She is a member of the Starz Over Georgia Dance Team.

The daughter of Paul and Debbie Plunkett dreams of working as a forensic psychologist, architect or doctor someday.

Rutland said she was "surprised and excited" to be named a commended student. She is the daughter of Riley and Rhonda Rutland.

Rutland was a member of the varsity cheerleading squad in the 10th and 11th grades and serves on the Y-Club, Beta Club, and Managing Pressures Before Marriage group. She is a member of Park Avenue United Methodist Church, where she sings in the youth choir, and recording secretary for Sigma Delta Theta.

At Valdosta High School, Tullos serves as vice president of the Student Body and member of the Tennis Team, Y-Club, Debate Team, Managing Pressures Before Marriage group, and Yearbook staff. She is a member of America's Second Harvst of South Georgia Student Advisory Board and First United Methodist Church.

The daughter of Stan and Margie Tullos said she was honored to be named a commended student.

Commended students placed among the top five percent of more than one million students who entered the 2005 competition by taking the 2003 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.



To contact reporter Jessica Pope, please call (229) 244-3400, ext. 255.

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