Elementary for our Dear Watson

Henry Qualifies for NMSQT Status


Have you ever wondered about those who walk the halls of West Geauga High School? Who’s going to be in the Olympics one day or who’s going to be the next Albert Einstein? Our very own senior, Henry Watson, could be the next Einstein in the making. Henry has qualified as a semi-finalist in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Every year about 1.5 million students in over 22,000 high schools across the country enter the National Merit Scholarship competition when they take the Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Of the students who enter, around 16,000 semi-finalists are designated on a state representational basis. These students are the highest-scoring semi-finalists in each state and represent the top one percent of the state’s senior students.

To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship, semi-finalists have to fulfill requirements to advance to finalist standing. Each semi-finalist submits a detailed scholarship application, which includes essays and information about extracurricular achievements, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists answer some basic questions, send in their SAT scores, receive a recommendation from a guidance counselor, and write a short essay. Most semi-finalists will advance to this stage, but not everyone will receive scholarship money. Semi-finalists also have to have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a school official, and earn SAT scores that confirm their qualifying test performance. From the semi-finalist group, some 15,000 meet finalist requirements. By the conclusion of the competition, a select group of finalists are chosen to receive prestigious National Merit Scholarships.

Henry will find out if he has been accepted as a finalist by February. When asked what he has done to earn this title and what advice he would give to underclassmen, he said, “I feel that this title is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. My education is something that I have always taken seriously, and this title is nothing more or less than recognition of that commitment. To the underclassmen, I strongly encourage that you take the PSAT and prepare for it thoroughly. Everyone has the opportunity to claim this honorable title; it would be foolish to throw away the chance. Always take your academics seriously. Your achievement is based solely on your own hard work, and it truly does pay off.”

We wish Henry the best during this exciting time.