National Merit awarded to seven individuals

Jacob Love, Noah Rice, Maureen Grimes, Jack Dolan, Henry Ison, Encho Genchev, and Curt Schwager photographed together after school wide announcement of their achievement as National Merit Scholar Semifinalists. Photo by Tony Lopez

Lizzie Carter, Staff Writer

Seven seniors were recognized as National Merit Semifinalists, the most ever in recent school history. This number exceeds the average of three to four recipients that Bishop McGuinness usually has each year. 

This historic achievement reflects the senior class’s academic ability as well as the rigor offered by Bishop McGuinness during times of normalcy and even a global pandemic noted Assistant principal Dr. Worthington.

The seven recognized students include Jacob Love, Noah Rice, Maureen Grimes, Jack Dolan, Henry Ison, Encho Genchev and Curt Schwager. 

That small group of students is a demonstration of how wonderful our senior class is.

— Andrew Worthington, Assistant Principal

These seniors are the same ones who lost the second half of their freshman year to COVID and had an abnormal sophomore year experience during the heart of the pandemic. They had to exact a degree of determination as well as perseverance in order to successfully finish each year. 

“National Merit is an assessment given through the College Board using the PSAT to determine the top half of the top 1% of students in the United States,” Worthington said.  

National Merit is an elite award and is an achievement that requires dedication from multiple actors. Teachers and counselors dedicate their time to the students in order to achieve the highest rate of success for the students as well as the school. 

Senior counselor Dillon Walker says that the award opens doors, allows for a higher piece of recognition, as well as being a great resume builder in the college application process. 

“They’re going to open more doors with scholarships and financial aid and our packages, especially in states specifically built towards the National Merit students from that state,” Walker said. “It’s also going to help them once they get to a college right? They have achieved all of this academically at this level and so they are prepared to go to that next level.”