When the Tullahoma High School Class of 2019 said goodbye on Friday night, one student said their farewells with a little extra hardware.
Madison Dochety was the only THS student to be named a National Merit Scholar for the class of 2019 by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which earned her a $2,500 scholarship to the college of her choice.
Dochety was one of six THS students to be recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the latest in a long line of Wildcats to be named commended students and semifinalists.
For Dochety, the designation was something she had wanted to do ever since entering high school.
“At the high school we write letters to our senior selves as a freshman,” she said. Her letter, which she received at graduation practice last week, had a list of goals she wanted to accomplish by the time she graduated.
Being a National Merit Scholar was on that list, she said.
“That was one of the things on the top of the list, was to become a National Merit Scholar,” Dochety said.
In order to be recognized by the National Merit Corporation, students must take the PSAT and receive a certain score.
If they score high enough, they are then invited to take the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as another screening tool for the program.
Once the top scorers of the qualifying test are identified, they then fill out a detailed application which encompasses the student’s academic records, community and extracurricular involvement, demonstrated leadership abilities, any honors or achievements amassed and teacher and counselor recommendations.
Students must also write an essay and take the SAT, earning scores that confirm the student’s performance on the qualifying test. Semifinalists are selected from these students.
In the last three years, THS has had seven National Merit semifinalists.
When asked how it felt to be named the sole National Merit Scholar for THS, Dochety said it was a great feeling, as well as a good reflection of the Tullahoma educational system.
“It’s great,” she said, “and I really think it’s a great representation of…Tullahoma…and our education program and how amazing it is and how it really pushes students to do well. It really makes me feel blessed to represent Tullahoma and be a product of this amazing school system.”
According to Dochety, she will be using her National Merit Scholarship at Mississippi State University in the fall.
Erin McCullough may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.