National merit semifinalists share their stories

Seniors list teachers who influenced them


Caitlin O'Connor , Reporter

Six members of the Class of 2019 have been informed that they have been named National Merit Semifinalists. Being named a Semifinalist is the result of each senior earning an exemplary score on the PSAT during his or her junior year. Specifically, their results placed them in the top 1 percent of all students who took the test that day, of about 1.6 million who did so.

Brendan Hurley  Social studies teacher Mr. Anthony Ernst is the teacher who most influenced him. Hurley said that “he supported me in my academic efforts and was always encouraging, yet stern.” Hurley is applying to University of Chicago, Northwestern, Loyola, Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame. He intends to major in economics or political science. 

Blake Lowe  He was most influenced by chemistry teacher Mrs. Vicki Roessler, as he said, “She helped me develop good study skills and the ability to focus over long periods of time.” Lowe is applying to six schools: MIT, Stanford, University of Illinois, Purdue, University of Michigan, and University of Cincinnati. He wants to major in material engineering at any one of those schools.

Anna Pohl  She said English teacher Mrs. Liz Bradshaw influenced her success on the PSAT of all her instructors because Bradshaw always believed in what she could do academically but she also pushed and challenged her. She is looking at several schools including Indiana University and University of Michigan. She plans on studying economics and journalism.

 Jacob Schneider  He said the Cathedral teacher to influence him the most was “(math teacher) Mrs. (Christine) Koers because I took Algebra I freshman year and it set me up for success in my other math courses.” He is applying to Purdue, the University of Notre Dame and Georgia Tech, and he wants to study chemical engineering.

Avaleen Sweeney  She said,  “(Math teacher) Mr. (Jim) Nohl always told me that I’m smarter than I think I am. I am applying to 11 schools, but my top three are the University of Alabama, the University of Florida and Oberlin College. I want to double in theater and psychology.”

McKenna Wylam  She said the teacher to influence her the most was “probably Mrs. Roessler because she had a really hard class and she taught me how to work hard.” She is applying to Purdue, Indiana University, the University of Notre Dame and the Washington University in St. Louis, and she intends to major in either chemical engineering or computer science.