WLHS National Merit Finalists reap the rewards of their academic excellence

Reed Sturtevant and Miranda James, seniors, were surprised earlier this month when they were informed that they were National Merit Scholarship finalists. James and Sturtevant were notified that they scored high enough on the PSAT to qualify as semifinalists in November.

Only 15,000 students nationwide are selected as finalists each year, and these students have the chance to win a plethora of scholarships and monetary rewards for their scholastic excellence.

Sturtevant was expecting he would be notified whether or not he had made the cut as a finalist by letter and was pleasantly surprised when Lou Bailey, principal, approached him in the hall to tell him that he was a finalist. “I was pretty excited about it; it’s a good thing,” Sturtevant said.

James was told that she was a finalist and was elated, but she says that she and her parents were not too surprised. “I think they were sort’ve expecting me to become a finalist because they have those expectations of me in general,” James said.

Sturtevant’s parents were proud of him for living up to a family legacy; Andi Sturtevant, Reed’s sister, was also a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. Though Sturtevant has already been accepted to Dartmouth College and plans to major in theater, it is still possible that he will receive some reward from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

James, however, has already seen the fruits of becoming a National Merit Scholar.
“The biggest difference is that I’ve gotten a letter from a college I was interested in,” James said. She received a letter from Kenyon College in Ohio, one of the colleges where she hopes to study writing.