Homer seniors score high in National Merit Scholarship program

For scoring in the top 1 percent of the 1.5 million high school students who took the PSAT, Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, in October 2011, Homer High School student Dylan Faulkner, a junior at the time he took the test, has been named a National Merit semi-finalists.  

Semi-finalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

“These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring,” the a press release announcing the results.

The next 34,000 scoring students are designated as National Merit Commended Students and are “recognized for their exceptional academic promise,” the press release said. Sam Reinert, another Homer High School student is among that group.

“Although they will not continue in the 2013 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2013 competition by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test,” the press release said.

“It is extremely gratifying to see our fine students listed alongside extraordinary students from other great high schools across the world.  Homer High can be proud that our students rank among the tops anywhere, public and private institutions,” said Lin Hampson, HHS guidance counselor. 

Faulkner, a Fireweed Academy graduate, was praised by Fireweed Principal Kiki Abrahamson as being “an awesome kid.”

“He has come back to Fireweed several times to teach science lessons to the kids. It’s fun to watch him grow up,” said Abrahamson. “(Reinert) has come in with him, too, even though he’s not a Fireweed kid.” 

Reinert is active in the high school swing choir and National Honor Society, has participated in the Homer Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council and is “very dedicated to basketball. He sacrifices a lot to participate in that,” said his mother, Sara Reinert. “I’m impressed because he’s such a hard worker.” 

Homer High School students have an opportunity to take the PSAT at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. 

“The minimal cost of $15 will provide all students with valuable practice for later ACT (American College Testing) and SAT tests, as well as important feedback on skills and gaps each student may have,” said Hampson.

“Additionally, some of our excellent juniors may become the Commended Students and National Merit Scholars in 2013.“

College-bound sophomores also may take the test as practice for their junior year when test scores are entered into the competition.

For more information about Saturday’s PSAT, contact Hampson at 235-4600.

For more information about the National Merit Scholarship Program, visit www.nationalmerit.org.