After a rigorous application process one local teen joins the best and brightest high school students in the nation.
Gus Schmidt, of Wheeling Central Catholic, has been named a National Merit Finalist. These are selected through high test scores on the PSAT test, and an application.
Wheeling Central Catholic Principal Rebecca Sancomb said Gus didn’t just excel in the classroom during his four years at Central. He was a three year varsity football and tennis player and co-director of the Jensen Schmidt tennis academy, after his brother was diagnosed with down syndrome.
He teaches kids with down syndrome and special needs how to play tennis and get active. Gus said being named a finalist is something he has been working for, but it also means more to him.
“It was really exciting because you know you kind of hope that you make it and look forward to making it, and when it kind of happens it’s like a big relief,” said Schmidt.
“It speaks volumes to who he is as a person, his family, also our school and our teachers and all the people here that have prepared him to move onto the next level,” said Sancomb.
Sancomb added that Central usually has one or two students each year receive the high honor.
Gus has the opportunity to apply for national merit scholarships, which will provide around 32 million dollars worth of funding across the nation. He will attend the University of Chicago to study mathematics in the Fall.