Revere students qualify as National Merit Semi-Finalists

Erica Price, Reporter

Ten Revere students qualified as National Merit Semifinalists by obtaining a high score index on the reading and math sections of the PSAT and advancing into the finals. 

The seniors who have earned this honor include William Marchetta, Keri Tomechko, Micheal Tomechko, Samatha Ma, Ramy El-Assal, Jacob Roose, Matthew Zhou, D.J. Donich and Thomas Li. 

These students took the PSAT in the fall of their junior year and found out they were semifinalists this September. Those who score in the top 1% achieve the certification of National Merit Semifinalist. Most of these students move on to become National Merit Finalists, with some winning scholarship money for college.

The 2020 semifinalists had an outcome of ten students, the largest ever for Revere. Superintendent Matthew Montgomery talked about the growth of our numbers of qualifiers and how he felt when hearing ten qualified. 

“[Numbers] have been going up one each year…when I learned about ten… it goes to show how hard students are working and how wonderful the teachers are in supporting them,” Montgomery said. 

Revere’s number of semifinalists has increased over the span of three years. Montgomery talks about what causes revere to have a huge number of qualifiers and what causes the number to increase. 

“Students are very fortunate to have experts in their field, supporting them in their journey through their processes,[Giving] continuous focus on patagonian structure and nurturing gifted students or students with high performing skills,” Montgomery said.

One student who qualified as a semifinalists for the PSAT. Senior, William Marchetta spoke about moving on to the National Merit Finals and what is needed to advance. 

“ If you look at the numbers, 15,000 of the 16,000  make it from the semifinalists to the finals. The hard part is getting to be a semifinalist in the first place. We need to make sure our essays are good and our [recommendation] letters,” Marchetta said. 

Marchetta also commented on the preparation before taking the PSAT. He mentions the importance of preparing for the semifinals and the long term benefits of the preparation he took the summer before his sophomore year.

“I went to like 6 or 7 tutoring sessions before the PSAT . . . and obviously it helps with ACT skills too. [tutoring] was a two in one . . . and obviously practice tests on my own and [a] good night sleep before,” Marchetta said. 

In regard to advancing into the finals, Marchetta gave words of encouragement to underclassmen for how to achieve this award and his feelings towards his achievement of honor. 

“It was one of my goals that year to do well on the PSAT and see if [I]can become a semifinalist. Now I’m very excited because it’s an awesome opportunity. I took it slow. because the months go by fast,” Marchetta said. 

Another National Merit Semifinalist, senior Nova Meng, comments on her reaction to receiving this honor and what she is hoping for from the achievement. 

“It makes me happy but it wasn’t as big of a deal as it was in the moment, but we will see what kind of scholarship [money] arises,” Meng said. 

Meng advises those who want to achieve this award to stay focused and have preparation. She also noted the importance of some preparation, which helped improve her score on the PSAT and the ACT. 

“You should work for it because it makes your SAT better . . . ACT better . . . and just overall better test taker. My ACT score improved after that. It’s the mindset you have . . . you can get a lot of other scholarships if you don’t make it,” Meng said. 

Principal Philip King also commented on his reaction to hearing ten students qualified as a National Merit Semifinalist.  

“I think it’s fantastic. That’s the largest number since I have been here . . . largest before was eight [students]. We are really proud of the students. They work really hard to put themselves in this position and we should celebrate,” King said. 

As the semifinalists prepare for the finals they need an essay, principal signature; and a list of school activities. King adds a few words of advice for students pursuing into the finals and hopes for the best. 

“[I] know they are all well-deserved students and I’m excited for them to have this opportunity to possibly earn some scholarship money. It’s a very prestigious recognition,” King said. 

The students will find out later in the year if they advance as  National Merit Finalists.