Zachary Schuermann, of Norman North, also attributes NPS and individual teachers to his academic success.
“I have always had the mentality to do well in school, but certain individual teachers like Mr. Warren, AP physics, and Mr. Forr, AP calculus, have challenged me,” Zachary Schuermann said.
Besides the application and essay, finalists will be selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in a rigorous collegiate environment. Such accomplishments might include being a national debate team competitor like Thompson or student council vice president like Zachary Schuermann.
Other NPS semifinalists also are active in their school and community. Some examples are Lucas Schuermann designs web pages, Shafer-Ray participates in soccer and cross country, Sullivan is captain of the swim team and McCann is editor in chief of the Tiger Tribune.
About 90 percent of National Merit semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standings. Winners of the National Merit Scholarship will be announced in four nationwide releases beginning in April and concluding in July.
Until then, Thompson said he would be focusing on his busy year and filling out college applications.
“My dream schools are Stanford and Vanderbilt, where I’d like to study economics and then work in public policy,” Thompson said. “There’s always OU, too.”
Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano, NHS Principal Scott Beck and NNHS Principal Bryan Young have all expressed pride for the 14 NPS semifinalists. But moreover, the semifinalists have expressed pride for each other.
Zachary Schuermann said he is friends with several of the other semifinalists, both at Norman High and Norman North, and he is happy for his friends’ success.
“I may be competitive with my brother and friends in other areas but not with academics ... it’s really good to see my friends succeed, to see my school succeed,” he said.