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FHS leads state with 16 scholars

Farragut High School leads the state of Tennessee in the number of National Merit Scholar Finalists from one school.

With 16 finalists, FHS has once again proven its pursuit of academic excellence.

FHS Principal Michael Reynolds said, “I think we are very fortunate. We have great kids, and I have to applaud the teachers efforts as well as the students.”

FHS finalists are: Aidan Boone, William Carden, Katherine Harris, Jesse Jones, Michael McComick, Phillip Miller, Cory Paul, Kyle Peterson, Chad Rose, Sarah Simpkins, Patrick Stevens, Tyler Whittle, Alexis Wong, Christopher Wright, Christina Zhong and Jingwei Zhou.

Eva Peters, FHS guidance counselor, said, “Last fall they had more than 140,000 students that competed for the national merit scholarship.

“It’s based on the preliminary S-A-T they take as a junior. The College Board computes a selection index, which varies from state to state depending on the scores of everyone in the state who takes the test, and then they take the top percentage and they are semi-finalists.

“Once [the students] are nominated as a semi-finalist there is a packet of information that they have to fill out and we have to fill out and that helps the Board make their decision,” she added.

Laurie Driver, guidance supervisor for Knox County Schools, said, “It is a very prestigious program. These students have worked hard throughout their academic careers. This is an honor they have earned, and I think they are in a position to be equally successful in their college careers.

“Their commitment, focus and subsequent success should serve as an example for all students to emulate,” she added.

Reynolds gives credit to classroom teachers for the school’s academic success.

“I think it goes back to that classroom teacher being able to inspire a student; to push the students to get involved in our [Advanced Placement] program and to inspire students that may have never thought they were A-P material to try.

“And I think it is increasing the rigor across the board. In the last three years we have had 125 percent growth in enrollment in our A-P program. I think it is that push and a unified effort between everyone in the community,” he said.

“It is not about comparing what we are doing with other schools, it is just trying to make our school the best it can be and making our students more competitive and preparing them for a worldwide market. And in doing that you want to head in the right direction and you just use that as an indicator that we are doing something that is right. It is sort of a national measuring stick,” he added.


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