Bearden names nine National Merit semifinalists

Katie Matthews, Editor-in-chief

Bearden has nine National Merit Scholar Semifinalists for only the second time in school history.

Every year this honor is given to 16,000 students nationally, and from those students, 8,400 of them will become National Merit Finalists.

Bearden’s 2015 semifinalists are Eli Derrington, Sydney Gabrielson, Allie Gruszkiewicz, Abbey Huber, Lauren Pearman, Ben Rappoport, Karolina Simcic, Rachel Taylor, and Annie Smith.

“I worked really hard to be a semi-finalist, but I’m also nervous about putting in the work to be a finalist, but I’m really happy because it opened a lot of doors for college and scholarships,” Smith said.

This morning, after the winners were announced, they were surprised with a breakfast with their parents, guidance counselors, and principal Dr. John Bartlett. At the breakfast, the semifinalists got to celebrate and find out the process for becoming a finalist.

“I’m proud of myself, and I’m happy that I made it this far,” Rappoport said.

Added Gruszkiewicz: “I feel really optimistic about applying to colleges because I feel like it opens a lot of doors, and there are a lot of opportunities. For a lot of places, money is less of a problem if you’re a National Merit Semifinalist, so I’m pretty happy about that.”

The Bark will have more about the semifinalists in the coming weeks and months.