The National Merit Scholarship Corporation each year recognizes students across the United States for academic achievement based on their scores on the PSAT test. This year 13 seniors have earned the distinction of National Merit Semifinalists.
They are among approximately 16,000 high school seniors across the country who have qualified as Semifinalists. Of these students, about 7,500 will eventually be offered the prestigious scholarship in spring 2018.
Entering its 63rd year, the National Merit Scholarship Program will have more than $32 million available for college-bound students. The money is provided by hundreds of businesses and higher education institutions across the country.
Congratulations to the following Jr. Bill National Merit Semifinalists on their remarkable achievement:
- John Burke
- Matthew Dorsey
- Liam Heffernan
- Nicolas Hernandez
- Mathias Hostetler
- Andrew Leingang
- Joseph Lux
- Thomas Munsell
- Stephen Ocampo
- Dominic Pancella
- Christopher Schaeffer
- Kurt Schumacher
- John Tice
Kurt Schumacher '18 has achieved something only 42 other Jr. Bills have done in the past dozen years: earn a top score of 36 on the ACT. But what makes his feat so unique is that two of those 42 other SLUH graduates include his older brothers Frank '10 and Stephen '08 Schumacher.
"I was very excited to finally get the 36," says Kurt, who did so on his fifth time taking the ACT. He took Mr. Craig Hannick's ACT class last year to help prepare for the test.
Schumacher is a National Merit Semifinalist and hopes to become a Finalist in May 2018. He is also a senior advisor and a member of National Honor Society and the Outdoor Adventure Club.
When he's not busy studying, he enjoys playing soccer for the Jr. Bills. A third year varsity soccer starter, Schumacher is captain of the team for the second year. He was selected to the First Team All-State as a junior.
"The most important thing I've learned at SLUH is to challenge myself and to get out of my comfort zone," says Schumacher. "In soccer, this message has been preached to the team for a long time in the form of 'You're not tired. You're just uncomfortable.'
"The best teachers I've had have been the ones who wouldn't let me or any of the other students give up on a difficult concept or just slide by with minimal effort. Learning to challenge myself has led me to realize what I can accomplish and to have more confidence in my abilities."
After graduation from SLUH, Schumacher wants to study some type of business, likely economics and finance. Some of his top college choices include Vanderbilt University and the University of Southern California.
In addition to Schumacher, seniors Tom Munsell, Dominic Pancella and Chris Schaefer have also earned top ACT scores.