National Merit Semifinalists 2019

Six Seniors Named National Merit Semifinalsits

Six members of the Class of 2020 have been named National Merit Semifinalists. Pictured above between Rev. Vincent Giacabazi, SJ, principal, and David Laughlin, president, are: (L-R) Michael Navato, Casey O'Halloran, Brendan Kiefer, Watson Deacon, Caleb Phillips and Joseph Berglund.

On average, approximately 1.6 million high school students took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and around 50,000 earned the highest index score to qualify for National Merit Scholarship Program recognition. Of those top students, approximately one-third, or about 16,000, are then named as Semifinalists. 
Looking forward to February, some 15,000 Semifinalists will be notified that they have been selected to Finalist standing. 

Joseph Berglund on his National Merit Semifinalist selection:
"This validates that studying hard can pay off. It will also help my parents financially with any scholarships that I might receive as a result of the selection. I'm not yet sure what my college plans are, but I might look at doing something science-related.  
My favorite things about Rockhurst are the community and the opportunity. I think that Rockhurst is a positive place. Many teachers make themselves available before, during, or after school for help, and most are coaches or club moderators of some sort, so you can get to know them a little better as people. Being at Rockhurst also affords you the flexibility to do a lot of things. You could do anything from gardening to rock climbing to volunteering to video gaming if you just join the club. I am involved with Latin/Classics Club personally.
Thank you to my parents especially, my brother, and all of my friends, classmates, and teachers I’ve had. They have all helped me to achieve this."

Watson Deacon on his National Merit Semifinalist selection:
"It means a lot to me, because it's possible that I’ll have the option to graduate debt-free at some colleges and get significant scholarships at others. I haven't decided on a specific college, but I want to study something in the liberal arts.
My favorite things about Rockhurst are the people with whom I’ve built relationships, especially through my involvement in Mock Trial, Entrepreneurship Club and Gardening and Philosophy Club."

Brendan Kiefer on his National Merit Semifinalist selection:
"To me, becoming a National Merit Semifinalist is not only an indicator of doing well on a test, but also a testament to the opportunities I have on account of coming to Rockhurst. Without this supportive academic community, I would have never achieved what I did here. This is just one of the multitude of reasons I am happy to call Rockhurst my home away from home.
Rockhurst is not only a school for sports - nearly every interest is represented here. From Math Club, to Ultimate Frisbee, to Human Dignity Club, we seem to have everything. I am personally active in the Theatre and Choir, as well as being the president of Table Top Gaming Club.
My intention at this point is to pursue a future in education."

Michael Navato on his National Merit Semifinalist selection:
"This selection means a lot to me. I always want feedback on how I’m doing, and being selected as a National Merit Semifinalist really lets me know I’m on the right track! It’s a sense of accomplishment, similar to winning a game or putting on a final production of a play.
In the future, I’m planning on getting a BA/MD in college. Of course, I also plan on doing more enrichment-related activities, perhaps pursue theater and other performing arts, or even teach medicine. 
My favorite thing about Rockhurst is the performing arts program. Though small, most everyone in it has a relentless passion for what they do. In choir, in band, in theater, we all care about the art that we produce. I’m currently involved in Chamber Choir, the Drumline, the Improv Club, and the school play."

Casey O'Halloran on his National Merit Semifinalist selection:
"Being selected as a Semifinalst is a great honor; it feels really gratifying to be recognized for my hard work.
If I could choose a college right now regardless of price, I would love to attend Brown University. But I don't know yet what I want to study down the road.
Here at Rockhurst, I love the people and the overall community. We have great academics and sports programs, and I am involved in the SGA, Math Club and Chess Club."

Caleb Phillips on his National Merit Semifinalist selection:
"The National Merit Semifinalist selection opens up so many doors for my future. I have the opportunity to receive many different merit scholarships that will make it easier to pay for private schooling.
Post-Rochurst, I plan on studying medicine at either Notre Dame or a college that offers a full-ride for National Merit Scholars.
I love how interconnected the students and teachers are at Rockhurst. They take a special interest in our lives, especially seen in clubs and sports."