On Wednesday, December 7, seven students were recognized for their outstanding work on the PSAT during the National Merit Tea.
The semi-finalists were Jordan Clouse ’17, Emma Kasahara ’17, and Thomas Wall ’17. The commended were Nicolas Gentile ’17, Cole Hancock ’17, and Eric Schwarzweller ’17. Scott Bitzko ’17 was also recognized for a perfect score on the ACT. Each of the students brought a guest that influenced them in their learning and abilities.
“I chose Mr. Collins as my guest. Though I am interested in pursuing engineering in college, I have become fascinated with history because of Mr. Collins. He really made history come to life in my AP US and AP Euro classes,” says Wall.
Others said that their guest brought support, fun, and encouraged love for education. Along with having influential teachers to support them, family and friends helped to push each of them to reach this level of achievement. Family and friends have brought each of them support and a drive to achieve greatness.
Kasahara says, “My teachers and my parents have really influenced me in obtaining this achievement. They all push me to reach my full potential, and my teachers especially give me opportunities to challenge myself in different ways and become a better learner, a better leader, and a better person.”
Through this achievement, the students hope it makes colleges recognize them for their work, give them scholarships and be accepted into more places. In preparation, some of the students studied and worked hard over many years. Others were driven by friendly competition in the effort to do the best or through little preparation to begin with by simply just taking the test.
“Though the recognition itself is an honor, I hope to be able to receive some scholarships through it. The fact that I’m a finalist has already helped on applications into colleges, and using it as a resource to pay for college is my goal right now,” says Clouse.
Along with this, Hancock says, “I hope this helps to get into colleges and jobs through seeing my hard work. I mostly prepared by paying attention and trying to touch up on old subjects.”
The students were asked how they felt to be honored for their hard work and high achievement. In response, the students mainly said that it made them feel good to be recognized and proud that they were able to be recognized. Also, it lead them to have pride in Heritage for having so many students reach a high level of achievement, which shows the supportive and hard-working environment of the school.
Gentile says, “I was somewhat surprised to be honored. I didn’t really know the scholarship existed when I took test, so when I was recognized, it was surprising but also great that I did well enough to be recognized.”
“To me, test scores aren’t that important. I try not to let things like this influence who I am. At the end of the day, I’m just a regular student who managed to get to this point based solely on caffeine and luck. This achievement won’t change that one bit,” Bitzko reflected.by