National Merit Scholars 2013

Oakwood's 2013 National Merit Scholarship finalists Dory Ayres and Jeff Mumford discuss their achievement and teachers who have influenced their lives.

Oakwood’s 2013 National Merit Scholarship finalists Dory A. and Jeff M. discuss their achievement and teachers who have influenced their lives.

Of all the current seniors who took the PSAT in 2012, achieving top scores and receiving commended recognition for their success, two seniors stood out among the crowd. Jeff M. (12) and Dory A. (12) are the only seniors to be named National Merit Scholarship finalists, a prestigious national feat.

Every year, over three million sophomores and juniors take the PSAT/NMSQT in America. Of those three million, approximately 1,600 juniors become National Merit Scholarship finalists, according to the National Merit Scholarship corporation.This means that each student has about a five percent chance of becoming a finalist each year.

Oakwood has traditionally boasted a high number of students each year who are honored as National Merit Finalists. In this, Jeff M. and Dory A. are joining a long line of academic excellence that precedes them all the way back to 1955, when the NMSQT was founded.

Although finalists do not have to have the top grades in their class, usually those who qualify are on the upper crust of their classes academic standings. Last year’s valedictorian, Primrose Mangilog., and salutatorian, Elizabeth Huizenga, were both National Merit Finalists in 2012.

Jeff M. and Dory A. are both taking on AP courses during their senior year. Dory A. takes AP Statistics and Literature, while Jeff M. takes AP Biology, Literature, Calculus AB, Government, and Statistics.

With this year’s cut off score of the National Merit finalists being 214, both students had to  score above that to achieve their recognition.

“I was happy and shocked when I found out I was a finalist,” Jeff M. said.

Dory A.’s feeling mirrored that of Jeff M.’s: “I thought it was very cool but also couldn’t remember what test this had come at first!”

Both seniors are in the process of applying to colleges and have had lots of luck due to their finalist status.

By Sarah Reymann

reymann.sarah@oakwood.com

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