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Fox Lane High School Students Named Semifinalists in 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program

Fox Lane High School seniors Joshua Miller and Sebastien Schonfeld have been named semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. The duo are among 16,000 seniors nationwide who will compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships. 

Juniors across the nation entered the program by taking the PSAT earlier this year. According to the National Merit Scholarship Program, semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of all high school seniors in the U.S.

In addition, Mason Abzun, Dylan Cousens, Zevin Faust, Samuel Green, Harry Griff, Isaac Ham, Olivia Hodgson, Andrew Horvath, Eiko Reisz, Thomas Rozgonyi, Erik Schneidenbach, and Jake Tetenman were honored as Commended Students, placing among the top 50,000 highest scorers in the country.

To advance to the next stage, Joshua and Sebastien must submit detailed applications, including information about their academics, extracurricular activities and leadership. Finalists will be notified in February and winners will be announced beginning in April.

Learn more about our semifinalists in the mini-profiles below.

Sebatien and Joshua sit outside FLHS

Sebastien Schonfeld and Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller

What do you think helped you get to this place?

I meticulously prepare for all tests with the word "SAT" involved. The secret to any standardized test is practice tests. No difference for the PSAT.

Are you involved in any clubs, sports or community groups?

Yes. I have been president of Model Congress for four years now. I also participate in the Philosophy Club and Games Club, and plan to start a Student Research Club.

It is early still, but do you have any plans for next year?

I guess my plan is to get into my college of choice and then prepare for being a mathematics major. My hope is to learn all of the calculus sequence by summer's end. I also want to have the classic teenage experiences — though I am a nerd, so their likelihood of happening seems dubious. I also hope to continue to do economic research, both with the institution I work for and on my own. I have an exciting paper on money demand in preparation with a friend of mine. Lastly, of course, I want to forge lasting wholesome memories with my friends.

Do you have a favorite class and/or teacher?

I have to thank Mr. Kimmerle for getting me excited about calculus and math in general when he taught me in Pre-Calc Honors. Right now, however, my favorite course is Society, Literature, and Truth because I like seminar-style courses. 

Do you have any advice for other students?

I have some practical advice and some “lofty” advice. My practical advice is to learn material on your own beforehand and practice it continuously, so you can truly master whatever subject you seek to master. My “lofty” advice is that you must understand that you must simply put your full reason and effort into accomplishing your goals, and they will be accomplished as fortune favors. Never flagellate yourself over the woes of chance or put yourself down if you've put the effort into accomplishing what you seek. 

 

Sebastien Schonfeld

What do you think helped you get to this place?

The reason I was chosen as a semifinalist, if I understand correctly, is because I did well on the PSAT. I think I did well on the PSAT in part because I have always loved reading. When you read a lot, you develop a sort of understanding of how writers try to communicate their ideas and what effective writing looks like — which helps with the reading and writing sections of the PSAT.

Are you involved in any clubs, sports or community groups?

Yes, I run Cross Country, as well as spring and winter track. I also like rock climbing.

Do you have a favorite class and/or teacher?

I don't have a favorite class, but my top three, in no particular order, are History, Engineering, and Environmental Science.

Do you have a favorite school-related memory?

I think I will carry my memories of the Cross Country team with me for a long time. 

Do you have any advice for other students?

I think a lot of students in high school are overly worried about grades and college applications. At the end of the day, what is really important is the actual knowledge you gain from your classes. It's also important not to stress, to take life as it comes to you, and to go with the flow.

Merit Scholarship Semifinalists, Commended Students and Principal Dr. Brett Miller gather outside FLHS

Top row: Andrew Horvath, Isaac Ham, Joshua Miller, Jake Tetenman, Eiko Reisz, Erik Schneidenbach, Mason Abzun, Sebastien Schonfeld, Dr. Miller

Bottom row: Dylan Cousens, Harry Griff, Sam Green, Tommy Rozgonyi, Olivia Hodgson, Zevin Faust