“It is the most we have ever had,” confirmed Susan Bolinger, FHS College and Career counselor, who noted the “academic signing” event itself began in response to widely publicized athletic signings.
“We have a lot of athletic signing days, and we wanted our academic students to be recognized along with our athletes,” said Bolinger, who presented the awards along with FHS principal Ryan Siebe.
In addition to being National Merit Finalists, many of the students also were recognized for additional academic successes.
• National Merit Finalists are seniors: Caleb Bradley; Kevin Chen; Roger Chen, Daniel Choo, Harrison Crawford; twins Anna and Katherine Delahunt; Alexander Galindo; Michelle He; Michael Lin; Rachel Margulies; Anni Karolina Ohstrom; Kevin Sun; Aidan Thomason; and Eric Wang.
• Benjamin Chenot joins Bradley, Delahunt, Lin, Thomason and Wang as seniors recognized for having perfect ACT scores of 36.
• FHS juniors who also had perfect ACT scores were Kevin Chen, Elliot Fang, Xue Wei “Jesse” Li and Daniel Zetterberg.
• Alexander Galindo also was recognized as a National Hispanic Scholar.
• U.S. Presidential Scholar candidates were Benjamin Chenot, Katherine Delahunt, Michael Lin, Aidan Thomason and Eric Wang.
• Thomason also won the Good Citizen Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was nominated by the faculty, then won the area and regional competitions, and is currently in the running for the state award.
All students recognized were asked to sign an FHS banner, as part of the ceremony, and received commendation certificates for each distinction.
Siebe said FHS was only one of two schools in the state that had at least 15 National Merit Finalists, and its closest rival in Knox County only had seven.