The 2018-19 Rockhurst High School National Merit Finalists are pictured with Mr. David Laughlin, president (left) and Mr. Gregory Harkness, principal (right).  The seniors, from left to right: Leyton Rebori, Jacob Gose, Patrick Loper, and Ross Wojcik.

National Merit Finalists Selected  

Four senior Hawklets have been announced as National Merit Finalists.  They are: Jacob Gose, Patrick Loper, Leyton Rebori, and Ross Wojcik.

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 acknowledgment.

Of those top students, approximately one-third, or about 16,000, were then named as Semifinalists in September 2018. 

In early-February, some 15,000 Semifinalists were notified that they had been selected to Finalist standing.  Rockhurst is proud to have four of those students.

Here is a little bit more about each of the Rockhurst National Merit Finalists from the Class of 2019.

Jacob Gose

Jacob says that the National Merit Finalist selection is a title that commends all of the people who have helped and tutored him throughout his life, whether they be parents, teachers, or friends.  All these people have influenced Jacob in a positive direction, for which he is very thankful.

He is continuing his college search, but plans to study some mix between Engineering and Business.  He notes those would help his long-term career goals, which includes starting his own business at some point.

Jacob's favorite things about Rockhurst are its accommodations and its staff.  With new spaces like the Learning Commons and the Math Hub, he says Rockhurst is clearly trying to push its students to learn valuable time management and self-directed learning skills.  Additionally, Rockhurst has always been accommodating to Jacob's choices for academics and activities.  He's been fortunate to get into the courses that he finds interesting, and his teachers have always been helpful and courteous; they're always willing to help when he doesn’t understand a concept or need help on problems.

Jacob added that at Rockhurst, he wants his classmates to do well and understand their course work, while pushing himself to the best place he can be as well.  In that sense, he says there is a little bit of friendly competition in the air, which helps him and others achieve their best work. 

Patrick Loper

Patrick says that the National Merit Finalist selection means that Rockhurst has given him the tools and education throughout his years here to accomplish his goals.

He is looking into studying Chemical Engineering, but has not yet decided on a specific college or university to attend.  Patrick's hope is to go to Medical School following his undergraduate studies.

At Rockhurst, Patrick has enjoyed the strong emphases on academics, faith and brotherhood.  They are closely linked to the five qualities of a Grad at Graduation here at Rockhurst: religious, open to growth, intellectually competent, committed to doing justice, and loving. 

Patrick added that he does not think his National Merit Finalist selection would have been possible without the education that he has received at Rockhurst.

Leyton Rebori

Leyton believes that being selected as a National Merit Finalist validates the hard work and devotion to study which he has always tried to have while at Rockhurst. The selection allows him to explore opportunities which may not have been previously available to him in regards to college. 

His post-Rockhurst plans include attending college and publishing a novel series.  Leyton want to attend Veterinary School, so he will likely major in Animal Science, Biology, or a similar field in college - at a school still to be determined.  Long-term, he plans to become a veterinarian, hopefully for large, exotic animals. 

One of Leyton's favorite things about Rockhurst is the availability of specialized classes which allow students to pursue their passions. This year, he is taking Mr. Nendick’s Fundamentals of Science Research class, which gives him the opportunity to pursue research opportunities that normally wouldn’t be available until college. Additionally, he appreciates the camaraderie which the Rockhurst community provides; Rockhurst has allowed him to open up more to friends and teachers, which Leyton says he wouldn’t have done before coming to Rockhurst. 

Leyton would like to thank the Rockhurst community, especially the administration, his teachers and fellow students for pushing him to achieve his goals, and his loving family who has supported me since the start of this process. 


Ross Wojcik

For Ross, being selected as a National Merit Finalist means that he will have a better chance at getting into a good college; he knows a lot of schools offer good scholarships for National Merit Scholars, so he is excited to explore new options that now may be available.

He is undecided on a college or university, but his main interest is Engineering.  He looking into majoring in Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Chemical Engineering, and is also looking into getting a graduate degree after finishing undergrad.  Long term, Ross want to work in research and development in some part of the tech industry. 

Ross' favorite thing about Rockhurst is the teachers.  He notes that every teacher here is passionate about his or her job and really cares about educating students and helping them become better people, and that's the most important thing in education.

Ross' parting words were "Rock State!"


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Rockhurst High School

Established in 1910 - Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

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