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2nd AHS senior earns Merit Scholarship

Clayton Donajkowski

ALPENA — It had been 11 years since an Alpena High School senior was honored with a National Merit Scholarship before two seniors broke the streak this year.

Clayton Donajkowski received word a couple weeks ago that he was the second Alpena senior this school year to receive a college-sponsored National Merit Scholarship. Donajkowski’s scholarship will help him cover the cost of classes at Michigan Technological University.

“It’s an honor,” Donajkowski said Tuesday. “I’m excited.”

Donajkowski will attend Michigan Tech in the fall because of the engineering program there. He said the engineering program is known for its success and, when he compared Michigan Tech to other schools, Donajkowski said he likes that Michigan Tech is in a rural setting.

Senior Sam Tuscher heard a couple of months ago that he received a National Merit Scholarship that he will use when he attends the University of Oklahoma.

“It’s pretty cool,” Donajkowski said of he and his classmate receiving the scholarships. “It doesn’t happen all that often hardly anywhere, and for both of us to get it is nice because we have the class schedule, we both ran cross country and track. It’s cool that a buddy of mine, too, got it.”

Alpena High Principal Thomas Berriman said Tuesday both Donajkowski and Tuscher are deserving of their scholarships. Berriman said Donajkowski is active in the building with athletics and clubs.

“It just speaks volumes to the type of kids we have and the type of families we have and the type of community that we have,” Berriman said. “It’s an honor to have a kid like Clay in our building.”

Berriman said Donajkowski is a tremendous kid and younger kids can look up to him. He said Donajkowski demonstrates character, will power, and respect.

“Anytime you lose somebody like that, your building’s not as strong, because of it,” Berriman said. “We’re just hoping that seeing kids like Sam and seeing kids like Clay are going to motivate the younger kids in the building to want to inspire to be like them to want that recognition.”

Donajkowski is excited to attend Michigan Tech in the fall, but he also has some nerves about going. He’s mostly nervous about adjusting to college life and how he will fit in in Houghton.

“My twin brother (Colin) will be there, so I know I’ll have him,” Donajkowski said. “I’m looking forward to just being at college and I think I’ll actually enjoy the snow. I think I’ll like it up there.”

Julie Goldberg can be reached at 989-358-5688 or jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jkgoldberg12.

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