The Eagle's Tale

Seniors named Commended Scholars in National Merit Scholarship Program

Seniors+Erin+Sheffield+and+Wildon+Woolley+discuss+the+opening+of+the+CodeBreaker+game+in+the+library+Oct.+1.
Seniors Erin Sheffield and Wildon Woolley discuss the opening of the CodeBreaker game in the library Oct. 1.

Seniors Erin Sheffield and Wildon Woolley discuss the opening of the CodeBreaker game in the library Oct. 1.

Katelyn Spivey

Katelyn Spivey

Seniors Erin Sheffield and Wildon Woolley discuss the opening of the CodeBreaker game in the library Oct. 1.

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Seniors Erin Sheffield and Wildon Woolley were named Commended Scholars in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program for academic achievements Monday, Sept. 24 along with 34,000 other students throughout the nation.

Sheffield and Woolley will not continue in the 2019 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards but still placed within the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who took the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Sheffield said being a Commended Scholar is an honor.

This is an amazing honor, but it doesn’t define my life and who I am.”

— Erin Sheffield, 12

“It’s interesting,” Sheffield said. “I’m really lucky, because I’m a quick memorizer. I’m a quick tester, and I’m a quick writer. I just happen to be good at testing. This isn’t an accurate show of who you are. This is an amazing honor, but it doesn’t define my life and who I am.”

Woolley said the title will allow him to earn more scholarships for college.

I was really happy about it, because I wasn’t sure if I was going to get it,” Woolley said. “Once I got it, I started thinking about scholarship opportunities. It won’t open up more opportunities, but it should make it easier to get scholarships I was already available for.”

Woolley said the PSAT is an important test for sophomores and juniors to take.

“I would say, incoming sophomores and juniors, prepare for it,” Woolley said. “It can open up opportunities, and it can make it easy to get into colleges as well.”

Sheffield said she did not consider qualifying for National Merit Scholarship awards while taking the test.

I would say, incoming sophomores and juniors, prepare for it.”

— Wildon Wooley, 12

I took it on a whim,” Sheffield said. “That sounds bad, but I wasn’t planning on taking the SAT, so the PSAT was like, ‘why not?’ I knew it was the National Merit Scholar Qualifying Test, but I hadn’t really cared about it. I was taking the test to prepare for the ACT. It seemed like the right thing to do.”

A National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) spokesperson said the students being named “commended” demonstrate outstanding potential for academic success.

“These students represent a valuable national resource,” the spokesperson said. “Recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

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About the Contributor
Katelyn Spivey, Editor-in-Chief
Hi there! I am a senior, and this is my third year on staff and second as editor-in-chief. I am choir president and a member of the varsity and show choirs, and in theater, I participate in musical and the One-Act Play competition. I am a self-proclaimed cat mom to a slightly overweight orange cat,...
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Seniors named Commended Scholars in National Merit Scholarship Program