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A perfect score

Friday, Feb. 21 | By Hannah Dellinger
Wakefiled senior Juliet Mayer earned a perfect score on her Scholastic Aptitude Test.
Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
Two local High School seniors have been named as a finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program by earning perfect scores on their Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT.)

Kamran Priasteh, from Liberty High School, and Juliet Mayer, from Wakefield School, are two of 15,000 finalists for the National Merit Scholarship. About 8,000 winners will be chosen from the finalists.

“I actually got the same score when I took the PSATS the year before, so I had an idea, but I wasn’t sure [that I would be a finalist,” said Juliet.

Mayer’s standing as a finalist will open up many academic doors.

“Just by being a finalist, you’re eligible for certain scholarships at certain schools,” said Juliet.

She said that she would like to major in biology and minor in classics. She would like to one day receive a medical degree and a doctorate of philosophy. Juliet is still in the process of deciding on a university.

“I have a few top choices,” said Juliet. “My top three are probably Princeton, Yale and Amherst.”

Matt McDonough, director of college counseling at Wakefield, said in an email that Juliet is one of the most driven students that he was worked with.
“Juliet has taken the most demanding courses we offer, displaying excellence in each,” said McDonough. “In fact, in the eight years that I have worked at Wakefield, I cannot recall anyone completing an AP language course in their sophomore year.”

McDonough went on to say that her accomplishments outside of the classroom are equally impressive.

“We as a school are very proud of her accomplishments not only inside but outside of the classroom where she has undertaken significant leadership roles,” he said.

Paul Mayer, Juliet’s father, said in an email that he is also very proud of his daughter’s accomplishments and who she has grown into as a person.
“Getting high scores on the PSAT and SAT is wonderful,”Paul said. “But what really makes us proud are Juliet’s intellectual curiosity, her desire to make a positive impact on the world, her kindness and her sense of humor."

According to Paul, the biggest obstacle that Juliet will have to continue to overcome is being one of few women in the field of science.

 “There are still too few female role models in math and science,” said Paul. “So, for girls interested in science, it is important for them to find mentors, and to have opportunities inside and outside of school to explore their interests, and to develop confidence. Over the course of her high school years, Juliet has managed to do that, and has developed a quiet but strong self-confidence.”

 Paul hopes that once Juliet goes to a university she will be able to discover and explore new interests.

“Many students enter college with a fixed idea of what they want to do, but end up changing their minds,” said Paul. “That process of discovery should be what college is all about. It would be wonderful if she finds a niche in medicine or science where she can really break new ground and make a difference in people’s lives.”

Juliet has attended Wakefield since the first grade. She is currently vice president of National Honor Society, editor-in-chief of the school’s literary magazines and plays varsity soccer.

This past summer Mayer worked at the National Institutes of Health Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, where she performed molecular biology research under the mentorship of Dr. Scott Martin for six weeks.

During the summer of 2012 she was one of 26 students selected from hundreds of applicants across the commonwealth to participate in the Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s School for Life Sciences and Medicine Mentorship Program.

Juliet also took a college-level course at the Center for Talented Youth at John Hopkins University.

Priasteh could not be reached for comment before deadline.

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