Temple High Seniors Honored for Academics

Parth Gupta was the only one among his peers to receive National Merit Semifinalist recogni- tion, based on the results of the Preliminary SATs last fall.  Semifinalists are the top 16,000 of the 1.5 million entrants and will continue to compete for the Merit Scholarship Awards. He will meet additional requirements to continue on a possible route to be named a National Merit Scholar.

Isabel Suarez-Cruz is one of 5,000 Hispanic students recognized by the College Board as academically exceptional Hispanic/Latino students.

Nolan Fogleman, Kimani Johnson and Jonathan McCormack finished as National Merit Commended students — the top five percent of entrants.

Students will be notified of their finalist status in mid-February and scholar status in April. The students were modest about the news.  “It was nice, I guess,” Parth said.  One student was surprised to hear the news, but for an unexpected reason.“I had forgotten about it,” Kimani said.

Bobby Ott, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the Temple Independent School District, talked about the importance of the students’ achievements.  “You hear about state championships in sports and so forth — this is really a national championship in many respects,” Ott said. “We really congratulate you for what you’re doing in the classroom, how you’ve represented Temple High School and we are certain that you are the best and brightest that we send forward.”

This group of students has been excelling in academics together for some time. In fact, four of the five students were in the same gifted and talented class at Western Hills Elementary and three are currently in Temple High School’s International Baccalaureate program. They have witnessed each other excel and have come to expect it of each other.