Student announced as National Merit semifinalist


Emily Herrington

Senior Nick Mechler works on his tablet in his A&M Crew seminar.

Emily Herrington, Co Editor-in-Chief

Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced that senior Nick Mechler is a semifinalist for the National Merit Scholarship on Sept. 11. Mechler, along with 16,000 other semifinalists are given the opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,600 scholarships worth more than $33 million.

Mechler is one of two students in USD 232 to achieve this.

“The National Merit Scholarship program is a competition run through all high schools for seniors to essentially get into a pool for different merit awards,” Mechler said.

The National Merit Scholarship is awarded to students who earned exceptionally high scores on the PSAT.

“It can range from small National Merit Scholarships to big ones sponsored by colleges and ones through corporations as well,” Mechler said. “And that’s usually for top scorers, but it can also be for high scorers of different minorities or other denominations and that’s interesting.”

Mechler looked forward to receiving results and is proud of his achievement.

“It’s really exciting. It’s nice that I got it. I sort of hoped that it would happen because I feel like it would have been sort of disappointing if I hadn’t,” Mechler said.

Associate principal Kris Meyer is is proud of Mechler.

“National Merit Scholar is super rare. It’s a big deal for our school and Nick that we have a National Merit finalist,” Meyer said.

Preparation for the test was stressful for Mechler.

“It is a stressful thing because you can only take the test one time. So there’s a lot of pressure to do well when you take it,” Mechler said.

Although it was stressful, Mechler felt properly prepared.

“I looked at some stuff and I do so many SAT questions a day,” Mechler said. “I didn’t do any study books or anything just because I would try and sit through them, but I couldn’t help but feel like I was already pretty well prepared.”
Meyer agrees that Mechler worked hard for his achievement.

“He’s got some bragging rights. Nick’s done all the work. He’s worked with some really great staff,” Meyer said. “We like to say that some of our staff played a part in that because he spent some extra time here and we’re very proud of him.”
Meyer believes that Mechler has a lot in store for himself.

“From what I understand, he’s wanting to go to K-State, where currently in their program, the whole entire school, 10 national merit finalists,” Meyer said. “He would be 11 of 10.”

Mechler advocates that everyone take a chance and tries.

“I encourage everyone to go for it. It’s only like $20 or less to take the test and if you get a fluke and happen to get the semifinalist on a down year, that’s a lot of money and it’s worth it,” Mechler said.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2015 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and finishing in July.