Super Kid: Lauren Rosenthal, 17, Monroe High School senior

Beyond the call: Is taking more credits than she needs. Schedule includes physics, wind ensemble, Spanish III, an independent course in Shakespeare and Advanced Placement college-level classes in calculus, American government and literature. “I didn’t see the point in slacking off my senior year.”

Good company: Is a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, one of 14 in Snohomish County and 16,000 semifinalists nationwide. Distinction allows her to compete for 8,200 National Merit scholarships worth $34 million that will be announced next spring. More than 1.4 million juniors from 21,000 high schools across the country entered the competition by taking the 2006 Preliminary SAT-National Merit Scholarship Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The national pool of semifinalists, which represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants from each state.

Mixed feelings: “I’ve never held much stock in standardized testing. At the same time, it is nice to be recognized for something, even if it is a test score on a piece of paper.”

Best part: Going out with friends for breakfast at the Hitching Post Cafe on Monroe’s Main Street after the exam.

Making music Plays alto saxophone in school band program and is part of and writes lyrics for her own band called Lupus.

Consuming music More into compact discs than iPods. “I have CDs everywhere in my room.” Favorites include the Kinks, Velvet Underground and Lou Reed.

College hunt: Is applying to University of Washington, Reed College, University of Chicago, Swathmore, Vassar, Quinnipiac and Yale University. Considering an English or philosophy major.

Career thoughts: Undecided, but has considered being a journalist covering music or an English professor.

Leading the way: Is president of school’s National Honor Society chapter and co-president of Gay-Straight Alliance. Also is member of school’s High-Q and Knowledge Bowl academic teams. Particularly likes topics involving Shakespeare, literature, American history and current events. Best part is friendships made along the way.

Favorite part of school: Classroom discussions.

Without wheels: Doesn’t have a driver’s license yet. “I have no desire to drive.”

Fourth Estate: Worked as intern for Monroe Monitor weekly newspaper last summer, covering festivals, proofreading and writing stories.

Fond memories: Train and bus trips to visit relatives in California. “We (recently) took the Greyhound bus to see them. We have done that twice. It’s a completely epic adventure.” Met interesting people along the way, including an aging hippie named Frank. “He was a hop, skip and a jump from singing Kumbaya.”

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