McCann Recognized by National Merit


Kaitlyn Starry, Staff Writer

Ryanne McCann, a senior at GHS, recently qualified for the National Merit Scholarship Program with her junior year PSAT score. She will compete with over 49,900 other students in the country for the opportunity to earn a $2,500 scholarship. To qualify, students must take the PSAT their junior year. According to Mrs. Joyce Lewis, GHS’s Guidance Director, NMSP is “a program where junior’s PSAT and NMSQT scores are looked at for the top percent of people who scored the highest.” The PSAT assesses students abilities in reading, writing and math. Students who qualify for the NMSP “are recognized for their great talent,” asserts Mrs. Lewis.

Every year there are over 1.5 million students nationwide who compete for recognition as a member of the top 50,000 testers with the highest scores. GHS does not always have students who qualify. According to Mrs. Lewis, “some years there are [no students who qualify] and some years it’s a handful.” Two years ago GHS had one student who became a semifinalist then, this year (2022-2023) there were five students to qualify, and one to make it into the next round.

Ryanne discovered she was in the top 50,000 on her second day of school. Ryanne has been wanting to participate since finding out about the program in her freshman year. Ryanne has made it through to the second round of selections and is in the company of  16,000 other competitors. The final list will consist of only 7,000 students. Ryanne prepared for the exam by challenging herself with advanced classes and credits her  “ability to recall different methods to solve different problems” with her success. She notes, “there really isn’t much preparation for it.”

As for the future, Ryanne wants to go to Mount Holyoke College and thinks that the NMSP scholarship would help her towards that goal. After lightly suggesting how she would’ve felt about this opportunity as a freshman, Ryanne hesitated before returning with “well, if I was telling me from freshman year then I would’ve been confident but, if it was me from middle school then I probably wouldn’t believe it.” Then after mentioning what she thinks could be changed about the test, she admitted “Nothing, I wouldn’t change the location, test, and time. They go through much consideration for the event and it pays off” And though she wishes to change nothing on the test, she does want to change others lives for the better. Ryanne wants to be a movement therapist after her years of high school and college. Her last bit of advice for anyone going into high school or anyone in it already is to focus on “watching your time for assignments, and balancing classes and free time.”

When asked how she feels, Ryanne responds with a smile “It’s all so crazy, I’m nervous but excited to see how everything goes.”