SWCS Patriot grad earns Merit Scholarship

Yukon’s Clare Warner named college-sponsored award recipient

Yukon’s Clare Warner celebrates her graduation from Southwest Covenant Christian Schools with Headmaster Steve Lessman. The Class of 2021 valedictorian has earned a National Merit Scholarship sponsored by Oklahoma State University. (Photo by Mitzi Aylor)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A Southwest Covenant Patriot graduate is one of Oklahoma’s 69 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners.

Clare Warner presents the valedictory address during Southwest Covenant’s Class of 2021 commencement ceremony. (Photo by Mitzi Aylor)

Yukon’s Clare Warner has earned a National Merit scholarship sponsored by Oklahoma State University. The daughter of Brian and Denise Warner, she will major in computer science and minor in Japanese language.

Clare was class valedictorian of Southwest Covenant Schools’ 26-member Class of 2021. She had a 4.0 grade point average and was an all-state band member on saxophone.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) on June 2 announced more than 3,100 winners of National Merit scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities.

Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution.

The National Merit college-sponsored awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.


Clare Warner scored a perfect 36 on her ACT exam during her senior year at Southwest Covenant, the Yukon private Christian school she attended since pre-kindergarten.

This top SWCS scholar had scored a 32 on the ACT when she first took the college-entrance test in her sophomore year. That was a fine score, but not good enough for this high achiever.

To be eligible for the National Merit Scholarship award, the SWCS student was among the highest-scoring entrants on the program’s qualifying test.

Some 160 higher education institutions are underwriting Merit Scholarship awards through the National Merit Scholarship Program.

To be named a Merit finalist, Clare had to submit a detailed scholarship application detailing her extracurricular activities, awards and leadership positions; have an outstanding academic record and be endorsed by a high school official.

The college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners announced June 2 are part of a distinguished group of about 7,500 high school seniors will received National Merit scholarships worth nearly $30 million.

More college-sponsored awards will be announced July 12.