Students Win National Merit Scholar Awards

Students Win National Merit Scholar Awards

Susquehanock has never had three students get the National Merit Scholar Award, but this year the school record was broken when seniors Ian Rosul, Robert Rosul and Aaron Walters each won one.

This image is a senior picture of Aaron Walters. Photograph by Kimberly Booher

To earn this award, many tasks and requirements need to be fulfilled. Students and their guidance counselors have to meet. Along with that, students have to write an essay, fill out an application, and have a great score on the PSAT.

The picture shows Robert Rosul in the classroom. Photograph by Ian RosulSeniors Ian Rosul and Robert Rosul were both very surprised to earn this reward. Ian Rosul mentioned that he was even surprised to be a semi-finalist since there are about 16,000 semi-finalists. Before getting the award, all three students had to take the PSAT test to determine whether or not they got the reward. 

Ian Rosul stands next to cacti. Photograph by Sandra Rosul

Every year there are lots of students across the country who take the PSAT. The boys scored around 1210 and 1520. The average score for the PSAT is around 920. 

Guidance counselor Courtney Koons mentioned that there are about 34,000 commended students and 15,000 finalists in the end. Only about 8,000 students get scholarships. 

All three of the students have worked hard in various ways to deserve this award. To get this award, it requires to be a hard worker and to keep going with your work.

“All three students are hard workers, very focused on their academics, and take their time to practice and study outside of school,” Koons said.  

Senior Aaron Walters,  who is the third student to earn one of these awards, was also very shocked to get the National Merit Scholar Award. Very few people become a semi-finalist, but Walters was even more shocked to become a finalist, despite having solid PSAT scores submitting an essay.

There are lots of online resources that can help practice and study for the exam. Ian Rosul encourages students to use Khan Academy. It is a great online resource to use. Khan Academy will give students practice on any topic that students are weak on. Robert Rosul also likes using Khan Academy to practice for exams as well. 

All three seniors encourage students to work with their teachers and to have a good student-teacher relationship.

Walters said, “You are not alone when you are working towards a goal like this.”

Studying and keeping up with your work are also key factors.  Both of the Rosuls spent their time over the summer studying outside of school as well. 

Being a National Merit finalist can help extremely with getting into college and getting scholarships. Some schools would offer a full-ride scholarship for National Merit finalists or even semi-finalists. Walters got a full scholarship to a University because of the National Merit Award. Ian Rosul explained that being a National Merit finalist can help with any financial issues and can cover all tuition and housing costs. 

Ian and Robert Rosul wanted to make clear that taking multiple AP classes, doing clubs for math or sports or any extracurricular activities is not necessary. Students shouldn’t overextend themselves.

Ian Rosul said, “Don’t forget to have fun.”

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