The Gatton Academy's News Archive
Gatton Academy Seniors Named National Merit Semifinalists
- Kari Lynn Somers
- Wednesday, September 14th, 2022
Fifteen seniors from The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky have been recognized as Semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Since The Gatton Academy’s inception in 2007, a total of 238 students have been named National Merit Semifinalists. Since students take the qualifying PSAT exam in October of their junior year of high school, much of their preparation stems from learning opportunities during their freshman and sophomore years of high school. The Gatton Academy builds on students’ sending school experiences to provide them with preparation for the ACT® and SAT®, critical components in becoming finalists.
The 2022-2023 National Merit Semifinalists from The Gatton Academy are:
- Nishchal “Nishu” Anekere (Conner High School) of Hebron
- Thorin Bowman (Bardstown High School) of Bardstown
- Anna Crimmins (Beechwood High School) of Fort Mitchell
- Brody Johnson (Edmonson County High School) of Bee Spring
- Hannah Laney (Paul G. Blazer High School) of Ashland
- Elena Ley (Randall K. Cooper High School) of Florence
- Quinn Miller (Hopkinsville High School) of Hopkinsville
- Brian Nguyen (South Warren High School) of Bowling Green
- Gabriel Nowaskie (Bardstown High School) of Elizabethtown
- Joaquin Santiago Pauig (Corbin High School) of London
- Maria Pfeifer (Owensboro Catholic High School) of Owensboro
- Armaan Rai (Trinity High School) of Prospect
- Carolina Wheeler (Greenwood High School) of Scottsville
- Mason Wooldridge (Western Hills High School) of Frankfort
- Eric Xing (South Warren High School) of Bowling Green
More than 1.5 million juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as the initial screening of program entrants. From this list comes the nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
“The Gatton Academy’s Class of 2023 is clearly remarkable. This is one of many ways in which our students outstandingly represent the Commonwealth and their home communities. We applaud the excellent preparation our students received in their sending high schools and school districts,” stated Director of The Gatton Academy Dr. Lynette Breedlove. “We are proud of the hard work and focus with which these students pursue academic achievement. We are also proud of how they contribute to the community within our school, in Bowling Green, and in their hometowns.”
Of the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level. To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist and their school must submit a detailed scholarship application, providing information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout their high school career, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn ACT® and SAT® scores that confirm the Semifinalist’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
Finalists will be announced in February, and all National Merit Scholarship winners for 2023 are selected from this group. Winners will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July 2023. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.
For more information about The Gatton Academy, visit www.wku.edu/academy or call (270) 745-6565.
About the National Merit Scholarship Program: Established in 1955, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. NMSC conducts the National Merit® Scholarship Program and the National Achievement® Scholarship Program–annual competitions for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships. The honors awarded by NMSC to exceptionally able students are viewed as definitive marks of excellence. Recipients of Merit Scholarship® awards, Achievement Scholarship® awards, and corporate-sponsored Special Scholarships have increased the nation’s respect for intellectual accomplishments and have contributed significantly to its talent pool of future leaders.
About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential two-year program for gifted and talented juniors and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Gatton Academy is a recipient of the 2022 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from Insight Into Diversity Magazine and the Innovation Partnership Award from the National Consortium for Secondary STEM Schools.