In addition to the 29 members of the senior class who were named National Merit Scholars, four seniors were also named National Hispanic Scholars by the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP). This makes a total of 33 National Merit Scholars for the 2018-2019 school year.
Congratulations to seniors Alexander Anderson, Santiago Baena, Matthew Blouch and Leonardo Villa-Forte for being named National Hispanic Scholars. The College Board’s NHRP program is an academic honor that can be included on college applications. It’s not a scholarship, but colleges do use this program to identify academically exceptional Hispanic/Latino students.
These students are among those who earned the highest scores on the 2017 PSAT.
Q&A with our scholars:
Alexander Anderson went to grade school at Center Middle School. He belongs to St. John Neumann Parish and is involved in Model UN, Friends with L'Arche, National Honor Society, Labre Ministry and the Spanish Honors Society. When asked about his favorite teacher, he said, "Mr. Popelka is my favorite because he motivates me more than anyone else and offers practical wisdom."
Santiago Baena came to Saint Ignatius High School from Gesu School and Church. He is part of Model UN, Ignatians for Peace & Justice and is on the track & field team. He said the person who has had the biggest influence on him at Saint Ignatius has been Mr. Tom Pasko, Hon. '96. "He makes an effort to get to know his students and helped me feel less stressed about my workload."
Matthew Blouch went to Avon Middle School and is now a part of the cross country and track & field teams. He is also involved in the National Honors Society, the Saint Joseph of Arimathea Pallbearer Society, peer tutoring, Pre-Med Society, Spring Into Action and the Christmas Food Drive. Fr. Shelton, S.J. is a person at Saint Ignatius Matthew credits as being an influence on his life. "Fr. Shelton has run with me the past four years and has really helped me gorw on a mission trip to West Virginia and also as a teacher. He has spent a lot of time with me and I'm very grateful for everything he has helped me with."
Leonardo Costa Lins Villa-Forte came to Saint Ignatius High School from St. Dominic School and Church. He is involved in policy debate, peer tutoring, Model UN, Saint Joseph of Arimathea Pallbearer Society leader, The EYE editor and writer, and plays the piano. His favorite class at Saint Ignatius is Honors Anatomy & Physiology because it involves great detail, requires attentive studying and includes interesting topics. He recognizes Mr. Buzzelli for influencing the way he now views the world.