OHS senior recognized as a National Merit Finalist

OHS senior recognized as a National Merit Finalist

David Gerding (12) shakes hands and receives a plaque from Principal Mrs. Jan Kellerman in the main office on Feb. 26, with Senior Principal Mrs. Janet Anthony also present.

David Gerding (12) was honored on Tuesday, Feb. 26 for being a National Merit Finalist, the only senior to receive the honor at OHS this school year.

After taking the PSAT junior year, Gerding earned the top score for seniors and scored at a high enough percentile that he was automatically entered in the running for National Merit, a scholarship competition throughout the nation. Over 1,500,000 people apply for the National Merit competition by taking the PSAT in the fall. The corporation then narrows the pool to 50,000 top scores. Out those 50,000 selected, 34,000 students receive commendation. (Two OHS students received this honor.) 16,000 students are named National Merit Semifinalists.

At the start of the semester, Gerding found out that he was one of 16,000 students in the nation to be a National Merit Semifinalist. He submitted an essay outlining his future goals. Now, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation has narrowed down the pool to 15,000 finalists, with Gerding being one of them.

“I am very excited and humble to receive such an honor,” Gerding said. “My parents have always pushed me to strive for excellence in academics, and I have taken this message to heart.”

Starting in March, those in the Finalist pool will be notified if they have qualified for one of the 8,300 National Merit Scholarships.

As for Gerding, he received a plaque from the main office for making it this far in the National Merit competition. He plans to use any scholarship money towards his education at Missouri S&T in the fall.

    “I’m very proud to have come this far in the National Merit Competition, and I hope that I will win one of the corporate-sponsored or National Merit Scholarships.”