The Academy can officially boast two more National Merit Scholarship finalists in the form of Sarah Davis and Mary Green. Before the first set had even begun on Tuesday, February 7, Principal Mrs. Camille Jowanna had asked that the two girls come to her office immediately for an important announcement. Students even just a tad less stellar academically might have instinctively feared the worse, but Mary and Sarah had cause to feel optimistic.
During their sophomore year, Mary, Sarah, and approximately 1.5 million other juniors took the PSAT/NMSQT. Formally known as the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, the exam is essentially a mini-SAT with a pleasant twist. The handful of students who score in the 99th percentile of test takers are distinguished for their incredible aptitutde. Early in their senior year, Sarah and Mary were informed that they were two of the 15,000 students whose scores qualified them for the prestigious designation of National Merit semifinalists. Although this award provided a nice touch for their college applications, the finalist designation was what they truly sought. To reach that goal, they had to go through the process of submitting extraordinary resumes.
Granted, they have more than a few bragging rights. Mary and Sarah are both versatile young women, talented in both academics and athletics. Despite their busy schedules, the two recently led AHN to victory at the regional Latin Forum hosted by Academy. They are currently taking as many AP classes as their schedules allow. While the breadth of their challenging courses might make it seem that they are undecided about careers, the two are fairly certain about the paths they would like to pursue.
For several years, Mary has dreamed of becoming a sports journalist for ESPN. Her love of sports developed from an early age: “I have a very large sports family. We all watch sports. We all play sports. We all love sports.”
Mary has been an accomplished swimmer at Academy for five years. This year, she was a vital member of the team that led AHN to a State Championship win in the 200 freestyle relay. She was further honored at Academy’s Sports Banquet with the Mara Schultz Award for her exemplary team leadership. Mary has devoted no less attention to her journalistic interests. She enjoys Academy’s journalism curriculum and currently serves as the editor-in-chief for Achona Online.
Sarah Davis is likewsie a true Renaissance woman. She is known in and outside of the classroom for her many successes. Also an athlete, Sarah is a fierce basketball player for Academy’s team. Sarah has helped lead the team to its semi-regional tournament, where they will strive to defeat Tampa Catholic. Sarah is no less prominent in the artistic life of Academy. She recently impressed her peers with her powerful recitations at Academy’s annual Poetry Out Loud competition. However, science and math have always been a passion for her. While she was only a sophomore, Sarah made AHN’s highest score in the challenging American Mathetmatics Competition. She says that she “hopes to translate my love of science and math into a rewarding career.”
Like most seniors, Mary and Sarah each have “college on the brain.” Big name schools like Notre Dame, the University of Chicago, and the University of Florida are just a few of their options. Unlike most seniors, however, Mary and Sarah are now turning their attention to becoming members of a Mensa, a club far more selective than even the National Merit competition. If their previous successes are any indication, they’ll probably get in.