The most elite high school recognition. The most incredible accomplishment. The opportunity to top all opportunities. This is the National Merit recognition.
National Merit recognition is an award given to students who score in the top 0.5 percentile on their 11th grade PSAT, earning the title of National Merit Semifinalist. In this year’s graduating class, three of our students earned this prestigious acknowledgement. Our Semifinalists are Bryce Klassen, Zane Pautzke, and Peter Surin. The Semifinalists represent 6 percent of Tempe Prep’s senior class, which is phenomenal given the prestige of the accomplishment and the hard work required to achieve it. In fact, many other local schools–large traditional schools and smaller private and charter schools–all with many more students than Tempe Prep, did not have any Semifinalists at all.
Why is this recognition important? Because, along with the prestige and honor, Semifinalists get offered a lot of scholarship money, which can make a big difference in simply being able to attend college or graduating without mounds of debt. According to our College Counselor, Mrs. Moffitt, “Colleges want students with these recognitions because it improves their rankings, so many colleges offer them full-tuition and/or full-ride scholarships that include tuition, room and board.” With college costing $10,000 to $75,000 a year, it is certainly worth students’ time to pursue these opportunities.
Four additional TPA seniors are recognized as National Merit Commended Scholars, meaning they scored in the top 2.5 percentile in the nation. TPA’s Commended Scholars are Jacqueline Kirk, Alec Mitchell, Steven Veenstra, and Alexander Wait. This means that 18 percent of Tempe Prep’s seniors scored in the top 2.5 percent nationally. Congratulations, Tempe Prep’s Class of 2019!
Article by Clara Moffitt, a student editor and staff writer for De Equitibus, Tempe Preparatory Academy’s student newspaper.
About Tempe Prep: Tempe Preparatory Academy is a tuition-free public charter school in Tempe for students in grades 6-12 that provides a nationally acclaimed liberal arts education based on the Great Books of Western Civilization with an exceptional math, science, foreign language, humanities, and fine arts curriculum. Tempe Prep has been recognized by the Arizona Board of Regents as having the highest percentage of college graduates in the state and has been named the #1 high school in Arizona by Newsweek (America’s Top High Schools 2016). For more information about enrolling at Tempe Prep, visit the school’s website at.