Signal students named National Merit Semifinalists

Signal students named National Merit Semifinalists

October 2nd, 2013 by Emily Crisman in Local Regional News

Signal Mountain High School students Kylila Tucker, John-Frank Strength, Davis Brock, Shehan McFadden and Taylor Lapinski, from left, are National Merit Semifinalists.

Photo by Emily Crisman

Five students at Signal Mountain High School have been named National Merit Semifinalists, which means they now have the opportunity to be included among the elite group of National Merit Scholars.

Baylor's National Merit Semifinalists are, from left, Meghan Ray of Signal Mountain, Sophia Conwell of Signal Mountain, Austin Ngo, Ashley Augustine, Darby Schumacher and Jesse Fowler.

Being a National Merit Semifinalist means the students are among the top 1 percent of the 1.5 million juniors who took the PSAT last year.

All five students said they did nothing special to study for the PSAT, and all said they are waiting for scholarship offers before deciding on their plans for college.

John-Frank Strength said he has been thinking about the University of Alabama, where he would like to study electrical engineering.

Shehan McFadden, who would like to study anthropology, said her top choices are Brown University, University of Chicago or Reed College in Portland, Ore.

Washington, D.C., is the college destination of choice for Kylila Tucker, who is considering Georgetown University, George Washington University and American University.

National Merit Semifinalists from McCallie and GPS are, front from left, Megan Rohn of Signal Mountain, Rebecca Jenkins, Lucy Whitfield of Signal Mountain and Anna Carroll. Back from left are Philip Zeiser of Signal Mountain, Matt McCall of Signal Mountain, Peter Lugthart, Roger Lee and John Miller.

"I'm looking to study international relations and go into politics, and D.C. is a hub for that sort of thing," she said.

Davis Brock said he has no idea where his future will lead him, but wherever he ends up, he plans to study biology and public health.

"I have a very long list of schools, and I've visited about half of them," he said.

The University of Chicago is Taylor Lapinski's top choice, and she plans to study psychiatry.

The students will find out in March if they are National Merit Scholarship recipients.

Several Signal Mountain residents who attend area private schools were also named National Merit Semifinalists: Sophia Conwell and Meghan Ray at Baylor, Matt McCall and Philip Zeiser at McCallie and Megan Rohn and Lucy Whitfield at GPS.