CENTENARY — Adam Sickels has been named to the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program list of finalists.
In 2017 Sickels was named one of 16,000 students in the country as a semifinalist for his scoring on the preliminary SAT (PSAT).
In the time since then he had to apply and write and essay in order to be considered for the recognition of one of 15,000 finalists.
“This is a very distinguished award because it is nationally recognized. Many colleges will award a full ride just for being a finalist because it is that distinguished of an award, you’re talking about the best of the best across the country,” said Guidance Counselor Cherie Davis.
The National Merit Scholarship Program has existed since 1955 and recognizes students for academic excellence. Gallia Academy has had semifinalists before, but staff could not remember the last national finalist from the school.
Juniors are initially screened for the NMS by taking the PSAT, and semifinalists are then selected and encouraged to further the application process.
“I’ve known Adam since he was born. I am very proud that we have a finalist from Gallia Academy, we’ve had many who have qualified based on their scores but we have never had one that has gone this far in the process,” said Davis. “It’s not just intelligence, it’s also being well rounded, being a good test taker. It takes somebody who is able to process information and process it quickly, he is a very well rounded individual.”
Sickels scored well on the SAT, earning a 1560. This in combination with his application and essay earned him the recognition.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m smarter than anyone else. I made sure to do the assignments, not sleep in class, and do what I could,” said Sickels. “My parents always had high expectations of me.”
Sickels has the chance to continue on and become a National Merit Scholar, an award given to 7,500 students in the country annually.
“If I didn’t have this it would be a lot harder to get into colleges. For one of the scholarships for Ohio State this is something they look for on the application so this could help me get a full ride to Ohio State,” said Sickels. “I want to study Computer and Electrical Engineering and work at NASA.”
Principal Josh Donley is proud to have Sickels at GAHS.
“Adam is more than a smart young man. He is diligent and polite. He is an athlete and volunteers in our guidance (department) to assist everyday at school,” said Donley. “His academic success is only a small part of who he is. Gallia Academy is proud of him and his accomplishments.”
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.