Meet the 2024 National Merit Finalists at Great Hearts

Great Hearts Academies April 1, 2024
2024 National Merit Finalists

Last fall we announced ten seniors from Great Hearts Arizona academies qualified as National Merit Semifinalists. We are pleased to announce that each of them has been named National Merit Finalists. Each student has been recognized as one of the 15,000 highest scoring entrants of the PSAT, qualifying them for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program as finalists of over 50,000 high scorers and 1.3 million entrants.

National Merit Finalist Hayden Armstrong.Hayden Armstrong from Trivium Prep
Armstrong plans to study aerospace engineering. He is currently deciding between Arizona State University, Purdue University, or Virginia Tech, depending on scholarships and the pending FASFA release. He participates in the Trivium Mentorship Program and is the engineering lead of the highest awarded robotics team in Arizona, who will represent Arizona at the first ever Robotics World Championship in April.


National Merit Finalist Tucker FlynnTucker Flynn from Scottsdale Prep
Flynn currently plans to study neuroscience with an emphasis in biochemistry and biomedical engineering with a specialization in biocompatible materials via a dual-degree program between Fordham University and Columbia University in New York. Outside of school, Flynn enjoys playing the piano and volunteering in the laboratory of a local hospital.


National Merit Finalist Mary HerbertMary Herbert from Veritas Prep
Herbert not only has an impressive academic record, but she is also an outstanding community member at Veritas Prep. She is a house leader which allows her to guide 125 younger students through various spirit activities throughout the year. Herbert was on the varsity swim team and is currently on the varsity track and field team, qualifying for state in the 100 and 300 hurdles. After graduation, Herbert will serve on a church mission for 18 months before attending Grand Canyon University to obtain a degree in finance.


National Merit Finalist Annika KimeryAnnika Kimery from Scottsdale Prep
Kimery plans to study biomedical engineering and nutrition science. She has been awarded the National Army ROTC full tuition scholarship and is now deciding between the United States Military Academy at West Point or the Indiana University Bloomington, but still remains undecided at this time. Outside of school, she enjoys swimming for the Scottsdale Aquatic Club, competing on Scottsdale Prep’s track and field team, and competitively showing horses.


National Merit Finalist Andrew KulhanAndrew Kulhan from Scottsdale Prep
Kulhan will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) next year with an Air Force ROTC full tuition scholarship. There he will be majoring in mechanical engineering and playing football on the varsity team. In his free time, Kulhan enjoys lifting at the gym and reading philosophy.


National Merit Finalist Alessandro MarcoliniAlessandro Marcolini from Glendale Prep
Marcolini is also a National Hispanic Scholar, he scored a perfect 36 on the ACT, and was recognized as a Flinn Scholarship Semi-finalist. He is the lead programmer for the robotics team having independently taught himself various coding techniques. Marcolini has taken what he has learned and created a coding library to assist others in Robotics – even receiving a request from London, England to access his research. He provides leadership to the Glendale Prep’s boys tennis team and earned the Griffin Award last year. This award recognized him has the male high school student who best embodies excellence in academics, athletics, and sportsmanship. Privately pursuing piano lessons for years, Marcolini has shared his talent by performing live music during drama productions and parent events highlighting the fine arts. He will be attending Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University next fall.


National Merit Finalist Leah SchlarmanLeah Schlarman from Chandler Prep
Schlarman loves to sing in the choirs at Chandler Prep and has enjoyed singing in state, regional, and national honor choirs throughout her high school career. She is interested in studying biology in college. She is looking to attend school either in-state, California, or on the East Coast next year. Schlarman is looking forward to her future and all that it will bring!


National Merit Finalist Sumedh SeetharamSumedh Seetharam from Scottsdale Prep
Seetharam plans to study biomedical and bio engineering, with an emphasis in neurological and immune engineering. He suggests that, once you have familiarized yourself with the content necessary to complete the PSAT, that you should take practice tests with increasing frequency until the final month before the test, because a majority of the difficulty with standardized tests come from the nature of the questions, and understanding all of the question types will save you valuable time on test day. He is still waiting on admissions decisions that should come out any day now.


National Merit Finalist Christian SongChristian Song from Scottsdale Prep
Song plans to attend Barrett, the Honors at Arizona State University to study engineering, philosophy, or something similar in college. He enjoys working out at the gym, contemplating philosophy, and reading good non-fiction books.


National Merit Finalist Will TinkerWill Tinker fromTrivium Prep
Tinker plans to study mechanical engineering at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He has been a leader on his robotics team all four years of high school. Tinker has enjoyed having a classical education at Trivium Prep as it has helped him round out his knowledge in all areas of life.


In addition, we have a senior from Great Hearts Texas who was also named a National Merit Finalist:

Mathilde, a National Merit Finalist from Great Hearts TexasMathilde Lucy Marie Cowan from Great Hearts Irving
Cowan plans to attend the University of Dallas to study theology, philosophy, or english. The University of Dallas has awarded Cowan the Crusader Full Tuition Scholarship and the Drama Department Scholarship. Beyond academics, she served as a senator for House Darius for her junior and senior years, she founded a ballroom dance club serving as the main dance instructor, and she played the leading roles in Loves Labors Lost and Romeo and Juliet.


“Scoring in the top 1% in the state of Arizona is a very realistic goal for many juniors across the Great Hearts network,” said Great Hearts Director of College Counseling, Roslyn Fletcher. “We expose our high school students to the PSAT early by administering the official PSAT to all 10th grade students across the network. This exposure along with encouraging students to utilize free, personalized test prep through Khan Academy generally result in 6 to 12 Semifinalists/Finalists each year. National Merit Finalists typically have the opportunity to pursue merit scholarships that cover full tuition and sometimes even more at many institutions across the country.”

We look forward to seeing great things in the future from these Great-Hearted scholars.

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