Park produces multiple National Merit semifinalists

Seniors achieve top PSAT scores


Sam Orloff

Senior National Merit Scholar Semifinalists Ilana Weinstein, Elise Bargman and Aaron Councilman,

Adah Koivula and Sam Orloff

National Merit semifinalist senior Aaron Councilman said the National Merit Scholarship program provides high-achieving students with recognition for hard work.

“It nice to be recognized for academic things,” Councilman said. “It would be nice if we did that more often, but regardless, it would be nice if this helps us pay for college.”  

According to semifinalist senior Elise Bargman, the award wasn’t a goal of hers, nevertheless she feels excited.

“To be honest, I spent most of the test thinking about how I would make the questions into memes,” Bargman said. “I’m just proud of myself and my accomplishment.”

Senior Ilana Weinstein also received semifinalist recognition.

Gifted and Talented coordinator Mary Norris said  recognition requires more than just studying or intelligence. 

“You need to be a good test taker, you need to know how to read the questions, you need to know the strategy behind the questioning techniques that are present in the SAT,” Norris said. “It’s a big mental game in more ways than one.”

Norris said she feels incredibly proud of Park’s three semifinalists, but is surprised there are not more from Park.

“I’m looking around and seeing an awful lot of competent kids coming through my door,” Norris said.

According to Norris, she has seen these students can succeed and hopes they are proud.

“I would hope that they are feeling gratified about the recognition for a particularly significant accomplishment but also, knowing them I don’t think they are the kind of people who like to be put out there in front of everybody,” Norris said.