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Ten Fox Lane High School Seniors Recognized by the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program

Fox Lane students recognized by National Merit Scholarship Program pose with Dr. Miller

Fox Lane High School’s Jacob Feldman has been named a semifinalist in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program. Jacob is among 16,000 seniors nationwide who will compete for 7,250 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, Ryan Ades, Daniel Agnello, Rachel Akinla, Alexxandra Hoffmann, Stephanie Long, Jasper Plant (not pictured), Adam Reig, Tyler Stermasi and Eric Yang were honored as commended students, placing among the top 50,000 highest scorers in the country.

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

Learn more about Jacob below.

National Merit Scholarship finalist Jacob FeldmanWhat do you think helped you get to this level of academic success?

Hard work and passion. I love learning, I love working, and I've been very lucky to have the support of so many amazing teachers and my family. 

Regarding the PSAT in particular, I started studying for the SAT towards the end of my sophomore year and continued over the following summer, so I had already been preparing for several months by the time the PSAT came around. For any students who are currently sophomores or juniors, I would highly recommend studying for and taking the SAT or ACT early on in your high school career. That way, it will be much less stressful, and you will have time to do retakes if necessary. There are some 100% free resources on Khan Academy that I would recommend, especially for the math and writing sections.

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

Yes. I am a very happy member of a number of clubs, including the Newspaper Club and Science Olympiad.

Working on The Fox Lane Times as a member of the Newspaper Club has not only served to teach me about publication and collaboration but has also brought me much closer to our school community. Participating in Science Olympiad has easily been one of the most enjoyable experiences that I have had in high school, as it combines a love of science with a dedication to teamwork. I would highly suggest that any FLHS student get involved with either of these clubs!

Outside of Fox Lane, I am a member of the President's Junior Leadership Council (PJLC) of Northern Westchester Hospital, which has allowed me to connect and forge friendships with students from other high schools in our region.

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

At college, I’m hoping to major (and likely conduct research) in chemistry and minor in French language and culture. Aside from that, I hope to connect with the community of whichever college I end up attending, learn new things, meet new people, and have new experiences. That said, I will definitely miss the Westchester area and the Fox Lane community.

Do you have a favorite class and/or teacher? Why is it (or are they) your favorite?

I’ve been lucky to have been in so many incredible classes with so many really, really incredible teachers. While it’s difficult to pick a single class, I loved AP Physics with Mr. Ludwig. It’s such a fun, eye-opening course that teaches you to think critically about the physical world and allows you to use creativity when answering questions. I also really enjoyed AP French with Mlle. Cracco, AP Chemistry with Mr. Neumann, Precalc Honors with Mr. Kimmerle, AP U.S. History with Mrs. Luhman, and Science Research with Mrs. Pirro and Ms. Kinlen.

Do you have any advice for other students?

"Work hard at what you love." —J. Michael McBride

I came across this quote a few years ago, and I think that, despite its short length, it shares an extraordinary amount of insight. Find your passions and dedicate your time and energy to them. Anything is easier and much, much more enjoyable if you truly love it. Also, be kind! Recognize when others have devoted time, energy, and thought to caring for you, and try to return the favor whenever possible.