North Springs grad wins $10,000

Chris O’Connell, who graduated in May from North Springs Charter High School, is Georgia’s winner of the 2009 AXA Achievement Scholarship, presented by AXA Advisors in association with U.S. News & World Report.

O’Connell, a Roswell resident, gets $10,000 for the scholarship. He and other AXA Achievers were featured in U.S. News & World Report’s May Career/Education Guide issue. They were recognized for demonstrating ambition, drive, determination to reach goals and ability to survive in college.

O’Connell organized an emergency summer blood drive for the American Red Cross that became an annual event. He also was a member of the National Honor Society and the U.S. Rowing Scholastic Honor Roll, and he received the Principal’s Leadership Award.

9 more local merit scholars

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. recently announced the final group of National Merit Scholars from the high school Class of 2009. The newest group of 2,000 students, including 69 from Georgia, brings the total for the year to approximately 8,300 scholarship recipients.

The final group is made up of students who are getting National Merit Scholarships financed by the colleges and universities they will be attending in the fall. Nine of them live and/or go to school in Sandy Springs, Buckhead or Brookhaven:

• Rachel Capouya of Norcross, Weber School, University of Georgia.

• Meredith Dishongh of Dunwoody, Pace Academy, Furman University.

• Leah Dodell of Roswell, Riverwood International Charter School, Emory University.

• Adam Fromal of Atlanta, Westminster Schools, attending the University of Georgia.

• John Menendez of Buckhead, Westminster Schools, Vanderbilt University.

• Jill Morsberger of Lilburn, Marist School, Emory University.

• Matthew Ritchie of DeKalb County, Galloway School, Tulane University.

• Sharon Solomon of Marietta, Lovett School, George Washington University.

• Spencer Zaghikian of Buckhead, Galloway School, Emory University.

They join 41 other locals previously announced as winners of National Merit and National Achievement scholarships.