All four Hardin County Schools that earned National Merit Semifinalist status last September have now become National Merit finalists.
Central Hardin High School’s Garrett Ashlock, Alyssa Davis and Robert Sego as well as John Hardin High School’s Lily Vowels are now among the nation’s top 15,000 students. Vowels and Sego are students at the Gatton Academy located on the Western Kentucky University campus.
According to its website (nationalmerit.org), the National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) — a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year — and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.
Of the 1.5 million entrants, some 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT® Selection Index scores qualify for recognition in the National Merit® Scholarship Program. Some 15,000 Semifinalists are notified that they have advanced to Finalist standing.
Winners of Merit Scholarship® awards are chosen from the Finalist group based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments. NMSC selectors to evaluate the Finalist's academic record, information about the school's curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official's written recommendation, information about the student's activities and leadership and the Finalist's own essay.
“Our primary role is to help our students develop the skills they will need to find success in this world,” Central Hardin High School principal Tim Isaacs said. “When you hear that some of your students have earned the classification of National Merit Finalist, you can’t help but be simply elated. I’m truly excited for Garrett, Alyssa and Robert. Central Hardin has a tradition of success and these three students are carrying it forward with pride.”
“Lily has worked very hard in and out of the classroom throughout her academic career and it has more than paid off,” John Hardin High School principal Mark Wells said. “She is a representative of the true academic success we enjoy each day here at John Hardin High School. Our John Hardin family is beyond proud of her. This award is truly special."