National Merit Semifinalists named

Brady Read
How did you find out you were named as a National Merit Semifinalist?
I was called down to the principal’s office which confused me, but when I walked in I saw the other guys and realized.
How did you feel when you heard the news?
Absolutely elated. It was surreal to see my hard work result in such a prestigious accomplishment, and I couldn’t have been more thankful.
Has there been a teacher or adult that has helped you academically?
There’s been way too many to count. Some of the most notable have been Mrs. Swisher and Mrs. Lewis, who improved my reading and writing skills immeasurably. Also my parents, who have pushed me to excel in anything I do.
What tips do you have to share with other students who would like to achieve this?
Read a lot of books. Find what fascinates you and learn about it, no matter how miniscule it seems. Any kind of learning helps you test well.

 

Kurt Nguyen
How did you find out you were named as a National Merit Semifinalist?
They sent me to the principal’s office, and recognized my friends in the room as likely National Merits, so I assumed I was also a National Merit.
How did you feel when you heard the news?
I felt accomplished.
Has there been a teacher or adult that has helped you academically?
All my teachers have helped me academically, so I can’t pick one person to talk about. They’ve all helped me in motivation and resources, always willing to deal with my incessant questioning.
What tips do you have to share with other students who would like to achieve this?
Get eight hours of sleep, prioritize your mental health, and use Khan Academy.

 

Noah Higgins
How did you find out you were named as a National Merit Semifinalist?
Once I found out how I had done on the PSAT/NMSQT, I found out what the qualifying score was last year, and what it was predicted to be this year. Since I made both qualifications, I assumed I would be a Semifinalist. However, it was not confirmed until I was called to the office in September.
How did you feel when you heard the news?
I was excited because of how much help the award would be in college applications, though probably not as much as I would have been if I hadn’t already suspected it.
Has there been a teacher or adult that has helped you academically?
All of my AP teachers, especially Dr. Stobbe, have always been readily available to help me if I needed it, and always wanted me to do well, maybe even more than I wanted to.
What tips do you have to share with other students who would like to achieve this?
Don’t be afraid to take harder classes early on, or AP classes in high school. Taking harder classes prepared me for bug tests like this, and even in middle school or at the Freshman Academy,

helped prepare me for the pressure of AP classes in high school.

 

Simon Blair
How did you find out you were named as a National Merit Semifinalist?
I had been stressed about cutoffs for National Merit ever since the first test, so i regularly checked the predicted cutoffs to see if I would make it, and about three weeks ago the official cutoffs leaked so I knew I was National Merit.
How did you feel when you heard the news?
I was euphoric and completely relieved. I had practised substantially for the PSAT in hopes of making National Merit and had stressed about the cutoffs since the day I took the test, so the relief and gratification was overwhelming.
Has there been a teacher or adult that has helped you academically?
There have been numerous teachers and adults that have helped me academically; however, the one who helped me the most for the PSAT and in obtaining National Merit status would have to be Mrs. Swisher, the teacher who taught me more than perhaps all my other English teachers, and she prepared me for the grammar portion of the PSAT which had previously been my weakness. Mrs. Lepp helped my grammar and writing as well.
What tips do you have to share with other students who would like to achieve this?The main thing that everyone who has aspirations to reach National Merit is to practice mainly on your weaker areas of the test. Khan Academy will be your best friend in preparation as it was for me. An often overlooked aspect of preparing for the test is the mental aspect, on top of knowing your stuff you have to be calm in that test room. If you’re someone who doesn’t do as well when under pressure you either need to practice testing in pressure scenarios or meditating to help you be more serene in those stressful situations.

 

William Martin
How did you feel when you heard the news?
I was ecstatic.
Has there been a teacher or adult that has helped you academically?
Mrs. Wilson has helped me tremendously in my academic and personal life. She’s always willing to give up her personal time when she doesn’t have to open her classroom to students and as a result has droves of stressed students who flock to her class for help and leave with a better understanding of the math concepts and with reassurance in their own ability.
What tips do you have to share with other students who would like to achieve this?
Take every opportunity to meet and learn from the amazing teachers at the high school like Dr. Stobbe, Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Dickson, Mr. Bailey and so many others.

 

Nicholas York
Has there been a teacher or adult that has helped you academically?
Mrs. McClarty (6th science, CMS), Mr. Stevens (8th English CMS), and Dr. Stobbe (11th chemistry BAHS) are the three teachers that have really encouraged me through my mistakes and successes. They got my humor, dealt with my malarkey, and were truly part of what made me who I am today.