Every year less than one percent of all high school seniors are selected to be semi-finalists for the National Merit Scholarship Program, an academic competition for scholarships and recognition. This year two Benilde-St. Margaret’s seniors, Jack McGinn and Dan Lundberg, make up a part of that small percentile.
In order to qualify McGinn and Lundberg needed an outstanding academic record, a recommendation by their school’s principal, and SAT scores as good as their earlier PSAT scores. “It is a huge honor to be selected. I am definitely grateful,” said Lundberg.
In order to become a National Merit Scholar, students go through three phases: Commended Students, Semi-Finalists, and Finalists. “The PSAT is just a test, and the difference between Semifinalist and Commended Scholar probably comes down to like three or four questions. I think there was a certain luck factor involved,” said Lundberg.
Six other BSM students were honored as Commended Students: Michael Gerten, Nick Hillson, Sam Ingbar, Ian Norman, Ben Rosengren, and Jen Vogl. Senior Frances Jimenez was also honored by the program as a National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar. “I definitely feel very honored to be recognized as a commended student,” said Norman.
The students give a lot of credit to the school, as the academic training they have received helped in achieving this impressive accomplishment. “The education that I’ve received at BSM has allowed me to do well,” said McGinn.
Both Lundberg and McGinn contribute to the BSM community outside of the classroom as well. McGinn captains the boy swim team and is an active member of the baseball team. Lundberg is speech captain, varsity soccer player, and a member of multiple clubs. “My social life usually gets relegated to the bottom of [my priority] list,” said Lundberg.