LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Pottsgrove High School senior Nathan Smith, the son of Ernie and Victoria Schwenk, has been named a 2017 National Merit Scholar Finalist and winner of its scholarship, high school Principal Dr. Bill Ziegler announced Tuesday (May 9, 2017).
He was among 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. It served as an initial screening of program entrants, from which a nationwide pool of 16,000 semifinalists – representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors – were chosen in September, Ziegler explained.
To advance to the finalist stage, semifinalists had to demonstrate an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, earn SAT scores that confirmed their performance on the qualifying test, and submit a detailed scholarship application including an essay, and information about participation and leadership in school and community activities.
Smith plans to attend Washington University in St. Louis MO on a full tuition scholarship to study mathematics, with the hope of becoming a math professor, according to Ziegler.
Smith was a member of the high school’s championship quiz bowl team, and its debate club, and he regularly participates in math activities outside school. As a service learning student under high school teacher John Hughes, he also tutors other students in Advanced Placement Calculus BC, and helps them prepare for its exam, Ziegler said.
Smith photo from Pottsgrove High School