Three Northwest ISD students named National Merit Semifinalists
Three Northwest ISD students named National Merit Semifinalists
Posted on 09/26/2017
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National Merit Semifinalists (from left) Tobey Mathis, Zoe Bass and Haniyah Burney

The National Merit Scholarship Program has named three Northwest ISD students – Byron Nelson High School’s Zoe Bass and Haniyah Burney, and Eaton High School’s Tobey Mathis – as National Merit Semifinalists, placing them among the top-scoring PSAT-takers in the nation.

The trio’s honor means they are among the top 1 percent of students in the United States who took the PSAT or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The program, one of the most rigorous in the nation, annually honors the 16,000 students with the best test scores as National Merit Semifinalists out of the 1.5 million high school students who take one of the qualifying tests during their junior year.

Dr. Logan Faris, Northwest ISD executive director of secondary education, said students receiving national recognition through this program shows their commitment to educational excellence.

“To earn recognition by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation is one of the greatest academic honors a student can receive during high school,” he said. “This recognition is a testimony to their hard work and commitment to being a scholar and preparing for success in college and life. We congratulate these students and their families as they represent Northwest ISD and their campuses in such a great way.”

Byron Nelson’s Zoe Bass said she plans to apply to Duke and other schools and major in neurology, while classmate Haniyah Burney said she plans to apply to Stanford and other schools and major in psychology. Both Byron Nelson students take part in Junior World Affairs Council and Lynx Crew. Zoe also takes part in Spanish Honor Society and choir, while Haniyah also takes part in French Honor Society, HOSA and orchestra.

Eaton’s Tobey Mathis said he is still considering his college choices and currently plans to major in marketing management or nonprofit management. Tobey is a student of the district’s Business Management & Entrepreneurship Academy, housed at Eaton, and takes part in Junior Achievement and Virtual Enterprises International.

Each of the three students is a member of his or her school’s National Honor Society chapter.

The National Merit Scholarship program will next determine which students will receive the distinction of finalist based on the academic performance throughout the entirety of their high school careers as well as the difficulty of courses taken and SAT scores. Winners will be chosen from the pool of finalists based on all previous criteria as well as each finalist’s essay and his or her involvement in activities and leadership roles.

Finalists will be notified in February of their status, with winners from that pool informed of their $2,500 scholarships from March to June.