National Merit scholarship program

HHS Duo Qualifies for National Merit Program

The National Merit scholarship program distributes millions of dollars annually.

May 10, 2017

Two Huntington High School juniors have qualified to enter the 2018 National Merit scholarship program. The duo is among a select set of students nationwide to qualify for the academic competition, which began in 1955.

Huntington students Aidan Forbes and Levi Leach have qualified for the highly regarded National Merit program. The two teenagers met the “selection index” of at least 211 to place among the top 50,000 out of 1.5 million participants. About 16,000 will later be named National Merit semi-finalists. The remaining 34,000 will be officially commended for their performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

“We are very proud of both Aidan and Levi as they continue to excel in their academics here at Huntington High School.” Principal Brenden Cusack said. “They are both exceptional students who represent Huntington in stellar fashion. I am looking forward to seeing their achievements throughout the coming year and I am confident they will progress in the National Merit competition. I wish them much success.”

Mr. Forbes recently captured first place in the New York State National History Day competition in the senior historical paper category for his project titled “Larry Flynt: An Unlikely Hero Takes a Stand against Censorship.” He will now advance to the national championship round at the University of Maryland next month.

Mr. Leach and his research partners Sam Bergman and Will Hebert won the Equality in History Award for their National History Day group documentary project on the Black Panthers.

“These two young men have worked hard through the years,” Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “Their performance on National Merit scholarship qualifying test is but one example of their efforts and commitment to their studies. They are sure to continue their successful ways through senior year and into the next stages of their academic and professional lives. We are beyond proud of what they have accomplished.”

The two Huntington juniors have been very active around the high school, participating in a long list of activities and distinguishing themselves in and out of the classroom.

The dynamic teenagers will learn in September if they are semi-finalists in the program. Semi-finalists will have an opportunity to continue in the competition which will culminate in the naming of about 8,000 National Merit finalists in February 2018.

Finalists in the program will begin being notified next March if they have been selected to receive a financial scholarship award.

Aidan Forbes
Huntington junior Aidan Forbes has qualified for the 2018 National Merit scholarship program.
Levi Leach
Huntington junior Levi Leach has qualified for the 2018 National Merit scholarship program.