FHS celebrates school record 15 National Merit Finalists

Farragut High School had a record 15 National Merit Finalists for 2017-18, who were recognized recently during the school’s annual “Academic Signing Day.” The students, all seniors, are, front row from left, Caleb Bradley; Kevin Chen; Daniel Choo; Harrison Crawford; Katherine Delahunt and her twin sister, Anna Delahunt; and Alexander Galindo. Back row from left are Michelle He; Anni “Karolina” Ohstrom; Rachel Margulies; Roger Chen; Aidan Thomason; and Eric Wang. Not pictured is Michael Lin, who was at the HOSA state championship at the time of the assembly. Many of the students were also recognized for other academic achievements during the ceremony as well.
Farragut High School set a record of epic proportions this year with 15 National Merit Finalists, all of whom were honored during the school’s annual “Academic Signing Day” Tuesday, March 27.

“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.