Rancho Santa Fe resident honored as National Merit Commended Student

Alex Espinosa and Kalina Quinn

Grauer School seniors Alex Espinosa, of Rancho Santa Fe, and Kalina Quinn have been named National Merit Commended Students. To achieve this honor, both students scored higher than 2000 on the PSAT exam, qualifying them for national recognition. Approximately 1.5 million students take the exam each year, placing Quinn and Espinosa among just 2.3 percent of test-takers to earn the honor.

In addition, Alex Espinosa is the recipient of the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) Scholar award for outstanding academic achievement. He is among 5,300 Hispanic or Latino high school students selected from a pool of over 259,000 who took the 2012 exam to receive recognition from the NHRP, and his academic excellence, reflected in his grade-point average, has designated him as an NHRP Scholar.

As a college preparatory school which emphasizes Socratic education balanced with expeditionary learning, The Grauer School does not focus on preparing students for standardized testing, yet students regularly excel on such tests, including the SAT, ACT, and yearly Iowa testing. “I think that because Grauer’s academics don’t focus solely on preparing for standardized tests, learning was made more interesting for me,” Espinosa says. “Grauer’s broader focus helped me gain a deeper understanding of the curriculum.”

Both Espinosa and Quinn agree that the teachers at Grauer make the experience: “The part of the academic experience that enhances my time at Grauer is the amazing teachers who challenge me in creative ways,” says Espinosa, and Quinn goes on to say that she finds teachers to be “always approachable, and I think they genuinely want us to succeed.”

Of their futures, Espinosa and Quinn are focusing on their next educational steps, utilizing their college preparatory education and the expertise of the counseling office to find the college of their dreams. Quinn is interested in schools with a strong science program, and Espinosa has set his sights on schools such as Brown University, New York University, University of California at Santa Cruz, Reed College, and Pitzer College. Visit visit