Wheeling Park High School is proud to announce they have produced an unusually high number of National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists this year.
They say six students in this year’s senior class scored very high and qualified.
They say academics isn’t the only thing they have in common–they are all girls and they’re all friends.
For some, it came as a surprise.
“I hadn’t known about this until I took the PSAT but it definitely appealed to me, both the honor and the chance to win scholarship money so it was wonderful,” said Katherine Leary.
For others, it was always a goal.
But they credited friendship as much as academics.
“I definitely am glad it happened to all six of us because I feel like we’re all very hard-working,” said Abby Delk. “It’s just a really nice honor and it’s an opportunity for us to apply to be a finalist.”
“It felt great!” said Pashaly Sau. “All of us are pretty much in the same classes and we’re all constantly so competitive but we also really interact with each other and really build us up as a team. I think it’s great that all of us got this honor and we can share it together.”
School counselor Eric Francis says they took the PSAT as juniors last year.
To have six National Merit Scholar semi-finalists in one school is extraordinary.
“Wheeling Park High School had the third most students in the State of West Virginia,” said Francis. “They’re very intelligent. They’re hard-working. We couldn’t be more proud of them.”
They said it wasn’t something you could cram for at the last minute.
“Well, I think the best thing you can do is to work hard in school,” said Katherine Leary. “I really didn’t study for the PSAT but I’ve always worked hard in my classes.”
“You spend your entire school studying, and if you work hard at that, it doesn’t really matter what you do a few weeks before.” said Mary Prather.
They said there are 70 students in their shoes statewide, and 16,000 nationwide.
They said they have the opportunity to compete for more than 7,000 scholarships.
Some have their colleges already picked out; others are still looking.