Troy High School seniors Luke Huber and Savannah Swanson have been named National Merit Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Huber and Swanson each recorded two of the top scores in the nation on the PSAT test, taken in the fall of 2021 by high school juniors. To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship, each must advance to Finalist standing in the competition by meeting high academic standards and all other requirements explained in the information provided to them by the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Both found out they had received the prestigious honor last week with a surprise call to the guidance office.
“I was initially caught off guard a little bit, because I wasn’t really expecting it,” Huber. “I knew the results were coming out soon, but I didn’t realize it was going to be that very day. It was really just a little crazy. They called me down to guidance, and I looked in and just about every important person in the building was in that room. I was confused when I walked in, and then happy when I walked out.”
Like Huber, Swanson was surprised, yet happy, to find out she had been named a semifinalist.
“It was crazy. I think walking into that room after Luke, I was not super worried, because I was like, ‘This probably is good,’” Swanson said. “But I've been watching and I’ve been thinking maybe this could be something I could have received, but I wasn’t sure. I have been keeping up with it. I just felt incredibly honored to walk into that room and have those people award me with this. It’s very exciting.”
Both said working hard in school and maintaining good grades is a top priority.
“Obviously for me, it’s been the No. 1 thing and No. 1 focus in my life is trying to get the grade and get the A and stay at this level,” Swanson said. “It’s an amazing feeling to see your hard work pay off in this way. I’m just very thankful.”
“It’s been very important to me just trying to keep the As in classes. Some classes that’s easier said than done. Just constantly working away, and looking back, it’s all been worth it. I don’t have any regrets doing what I did.”
In addition to excelling in the classroom, both are involved in a number of extracurricular activities and both volunteer their time outside of school, as well.
Huber is a member of National Honor Society, Key Club, Business Club, the Patriot Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He’s on both the golf and basketball teams for the Trojans. Huber also is active in his church youth group at Christian Life Center in Dayton.
Swanson is a member of ASTRA, Latin Club, Culture Club, National Honor Society, Math Cub and Drama Club. She’s a member of the Troy High School tennis and softball teams, as well as the Trojan Thunder traveling softball team. She enjoys the theater, and has appeared in “Shakespeare in Love” and “High School Musical” at the Troy Civic Theater. She also has volunteered with Reading Buddies, Lunch Buddies, Hayner Art Camps and at the park district.
Swanson plans to major in communications or a related field, while minoring in graphic design, with the intent of becoming a creative director. She’s looking at Northwestern University, Ohio University and the University of Cincinnati.
Huber plans to attend Liberty University in Virginia and major in engineering.