Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District News Article

Two Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Finalists

Feb. 22, 2021 -- Heights High School seniors Maple Buescher and Xavier Routh have been named National Merit Scholarship Finalists.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships. Maple and Xavier qualified for the award because of their performances on the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test). They were named semifinalists in September.

Currently, more than 1.5 million students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program each year. Only about 16,000 students were named semifinalists in the program this year, representing less than 1 percent of the nation’s high school graduating seniors.

"Being named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist is a tremendous achievement. I'm proud of Maple and Xavier and excited to see all that they continue to accomplish," said Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby.

The selection of some 7,500 Merit Scholarship winners from the group of more than 15,000 finalists is now in progress. In March, the program will begin notifying scholarship winners.

Q & A with Maple:
What are your favorite subjects? 
I enjoy English and math; my AP Lit class with Ms. Strine this year has allowed me to get some good back-and-forth with classmates, and my AP Calculus BC class with Mr. O'Deens has given me several moments where my mouth literally hung open with delight. I also really enjoyed American Studies with Mr. Meister, who always challenges my preconceptions and has taught me how to ask good questions instead of merely providing decent answers. 

Do you participate in extracurricular activities? 
I am a violinist in the Heights High Symphony and play on the varsity soccer team. 

What are your postsecondary plans? 
I hope to attend college, probably beginning next year. 

What advice would you give another rising senior in having a successful year? 
I would tell rising seniors to relax and take their senior year one step at a time: seniors are often overwhelmed with a barrage of information, and keeping priorities organized will go a long way towards keeping you sane!

Q & A with Xavier:
What are your favorite subjects?
My favorite subjects are probably Math and History. I really enjoyed taking AP U.S. History my sophomore year. The real world applications of math and how it applies to other subjects such as physics are really interesting to me.

Do you participate in extracurricular activities?
Before coronavirus I participated in Marching Band, Tennis, Golf, and Environmental Club. My favorite part about being a student at Heights was probably being part of the marching band. 

What are your postsecondary plans? 
I plan to continue school to study Computer Engineering. I have not yet decided where I will be attending college.

What advice would you give another rising senior in having a successful year?
My best advice for a rising senior is to continue to challenge yourself with classes you are interested in up until graduation. If you plan to go to college, start working on your essays early.

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