Two St. Johnsbury Academy Seniors were selected as Finalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Competition. Seniors Harper (Hoke) Wallace and Benjamin Lahey are among approximately 16,000 students nationwide
"determined to have met all requirements to advance to Finalist standing in the competition," according to a letter from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).
Final Merit Scholarship winner selection is already underway. According to the NMSC website, "All winners of Merit Scholarship awards are chosen from the Finalist group, based on their abilities, skills, and
accomplishments. A variety of information is available for NMSC selectors to evaluate: the Finalist's academic record, information about the school's curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official's written recommendation,
information about the student's activities and leadership, and the Finalist's own essay." Since its founding, NMSC has recognized 2.9 million students and provided over 377,000 scholarships worth about $1.5 billion.
Academy Headmaster Tom Lovett said, "Ben and Hoke are excellent examples of what it means to be a scholar. Both value knowledge and understanding more than grades and work hard to maximize their academic potential.
As a result, although it is quite an honor for them to be selected as one of the top one-half of the top 1% of all students in the country, I am more impressed by the fact that these two young men have demonstrated the intellectual character and enthusiasm
for learning that mark the very best scholars. They and their families should be very proud.
Additional information about the National Merit Scholarship Program is available by visiting