Saint Paul’s Students Honored as National Merit Scholars

Seven Saint Paul’s students have been recognized as National Merit Semi-Finalists. In addition, five have been recognized as Commended Scholars in the 68th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Seniors Peter Verges, Matthew Roberts, Nicholas Achee, Keegan Burrell, Sam Gold, Jack Keller, and Johnny Palmer were named Semi-Finalists. Commended Scholars included Jackson Hadskey, Riley Hidalgo, Evan Leaber, Nikola Plazinic, and Ethan Wilson.

“We are so very proud of all of these young men,” commented Saint Paul’s counselor and college advisor, Ms. Christine Woodard.

According to its website, the National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition that approximately 1.5 million high school students enter annually. Saint Paul’s Commended Scholars are among the 34,000 around the country to receive the nod for their scores on the PSAT/NMSQT test, one similar to the SAT standardized test that the National Merit Scholarship Program uses. With this honor, all five of these students are eligible to receive special scholarships that are sponsored and funded by corporations and businesses.

Across America, there were 16,000 high school students recognized as National Merit Semi-Finalists. Of the 16,000, 233 are from Louisiana, with 24 from Saint Tammany Parish schools.

For the fifth straight year, Saint Paul’s produced the most National Merit Semi-Finalists among Saint Tammany Parish schools.

Sam Gold, Saint Paul’s senior and one of the previously mentioned National Merit Semi-Finalists, knows what the title means for him and his future. “Every student should strive to be a National Merit Semi-Finalist, as it is the backbone of my high school academic accomplishments, and just the accomplishment itself gives me full scholarships at many schools.”

When asked about what this honor means for the school, Woodard stated, “I think it shows the strength of our academic program and the quality of the teaching at Saint Paul’s.”


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