Eight Jackson students finalist for merit scholarship

Greg Kohntopp
The Suburbanite
National Merit Scholarship Program

JACKSON TWP.  What could be a school record of eight Jackson High School students have been named finalists for the prestigious National Merit Scholarship.

The National Merit Scholarship Program recently determined which of the 16,000 Semifinalists named in September 2020 have met all requirements to advance to Finalist standing in the competition. All Finalists will be considered for National Merit Scholarship awards to be offered in 2021.

All eight of the Jackson High School semifinalists moved on to be finalists. That group consists of:

• Allan D. Cao

• Zachary S. Charlick

• Ryan Nicole Farneth

• Lauren D. Hall

• Nagappranav Nagajothi

• Dorothy A. Stuhlmiller

• Grace K. Sykes

• Matthew P. Visco

Jackson High School principal Jeff Kracker said the district believes that is the highest number of finalists at Jackson for at least the past 20 years.

“It’s awesome and amazing, and another bright spot in a tough school year,” Kracker said. “It’s great to see this happen to a senior class that has been so patient, resilient, thoughtful and thankful for what they have had during their senior year. Any normalcy and celebratory items we can have with our kids this year is extra special.”

Kracker said the district usually has two to five finalists each year. He said many of the eight from this year have spent most of their school years at Jackson.

“Many of these eight seniors started in elementary school and then went through middle school and high school with Jackson which speaks to how great a job our elementary schools, middle school and high school does," he said. "Plus, the students' success has to do with their family support and how well rounded our students are being involved with academics, arts and athletics.

"It is really a partnership between our staff, parents and the students when it comes to preparing them to do great things. These students have been competitive in the right way and they have worked hard. They support each other and have continued to strive for that excellence we talk about at Jackson Local Schools.”

The students will find out in either in April or May if they have been awarded a scholarship. Kracker said winning a National Merit Scholarship can help students get into the college they want to attend, and it is well recognized by employers.

“The honor and the known brand of the National Merit Scholarships is very well known by the different universities and employers will recognize it as well for students just starting out their career," Kracker said. "It shows the level of commitment, hard work and testing they’ve completed. It shows how active the students were in their school years. I believe this group of students will make a difference in their community, nationally and internationally. They are a great group."

Editor's Note: Each student will be profiled in the next several weeks in the Jackson Suburbanite.