Two Heights seniors are national scholarship finalists

Maple Buescher and Xavier Routh, seniors at Heights High, are National Merit Scholarship Finalists.

Heights High seniors Maple Buescher and Xavier Routh have been named National Merit Scholarship Finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

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

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

Buescher is a violinist in the Heights High Symphony and plays on the varsity soccer team. Among her favorite classes at Heights High, she said, are ones that challenged her.

"My AP Calculus BC class with Mr. O'Deens has given me several moments where my mouth literally hung open with delight," recalled Buescher. "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."  

Routh has participated in marching band, tennis, golf, and the environmental club. He especially enjoys studying mathematics and history.  

"The real-world applications of math, and how it applies to other subjects, such as physics, are really interesting to me," said Routh.

"My best advice for a rising senior," said Routh, "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!"

Both students plan to attend college next year.  

More than 1.5 million students enter NMSC’s competition each year. Approximately 16,000 students were semifinalists this year, representing less than 1 percent of the nation’s high school graduating seniors.  

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.

Cathan Cavanaugh

Cathan Cavanaugh is the supervisor of communications for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 1:55 PM, 03.08.2021