Class of 2013 sets BHS record with nine National Merit Semifinalists

Zoey Line

Bearden named last week nine National Merit Scholar Semifinalists for the class of 2013, breaking the school’s previous record. Every year, 16,000 students are chosen nationally for the honor of becoming a National Merit Semifinalist. This later narrows down to 8,400 for the National Merit Finalists. Finalists are offered $2,500 in scholarship money and have the chance to gain additional college and corporate-sponsored scholarships. Last year, Bearden had six semifinalists, but improved that number to nine this year: Dalton Chaffee, Matthew Clark, Tabitha Colter, Cole Graham, Hayes Griffin, Ben Knight, Jack Li, Michael Pearce, and Aidan Sears. “Those National Merit students are those who are motivated to be as successful as they can be,” Bearden English teacher Mrs. Anna Marie Hughes said. Being a National Merit Semifinalist means many doors are opened to the world of scholarships. Many opportunities become available for various scholarships especially from schools in this region such as Tennessee and Alabama. “There are good schools that I can count on for good financial fallback,” Pearce said. Another interesting factor about this year is that only one of the nine semifinalists them is a girl. “It’s kind of cool to be the only girl, it’s kind of a neat thing for it to just be me and eight other guys,” Colter said. “It’s sort of a neat thing to be the girl that gets to represent our school for this.” Zoey Line is a staff writer for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter@BeardenBARK and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.