Ethan Crane, Simon Wied, James Shade Named National Merit Semi-Finalists


Riley Guyette, Editor-in-Chief, Online Tritonian

Wednesday, September 14, Tritons received a surprise on NDA’s morning announcements. 

On this morning Principal Andrea Hearden announced that three seniors had been nominated for the National Merit Scholarship. 

It is a great honor for students to be nominated for this scholarship as it is worth at least $2,500. 

Being nominated also allows the advantage of significantly buffering one’s resume, as colleges are actively looking for National Merit Scholarship candidates. 

To be nominated, a student must score very high on the PSAT exam offered to juniors each October. 

According to Hearden, over 2 million juniors took the PSAT last year with only 7,500 students being chosen for the scholarship.

This statistic alone highlights why this scholarship is such an honor. 

This year’s National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists were Ethan Crane, James Shade and Simon Wied. 

The three were fairly confident in their abilities going into the test.

“I didn’t expect to become a national merit scholar nominee, but I definitely knew it was a realistic possibility,” said Wied. “I went into it knowing I had a good shot at qualifying, but I did not have the expectation to qualify.” 

Wied was humbled by the nomination, explaining, “I feel very honored to be recognized on a national level.”

This sentiment was shared by Crane, who said, “It’s a huge honor to be a semi-finalist for this scholarship. It could be a huge help in paying for college if I’m actually able to earn the scholarship.”

One of Crane’s biggest inspirations when taking the PSAT was the five seniors who were nominated for the award last year. 

That said, for those inspired by this year’s nominees, Shade explained his method for taking the test. 

“Try an SAT practice test, at least one, to get a feel for the timing and requirements,” he explained. “The reading sections are usually hardest so I try and underline key details as well as skim through by reading the intro paragraph and the first and last sentences of the body paragraphs so I get an idea for each one without wasting too much time.”