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Class of 2019 Seniors Receive National Merit Recognition


Ten Mount Si High School students from the Class of 2019 are National Merit Scholars. They earned this distinction by earning top scores in the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which students across the nation take the fall of their junior year.


Six seniors have been named National Merit Commended Students, in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. The students include (alphabetically): Ezra Bacon-Gershman, Wyatt Holcombe, Ryan Horn, Sophia Hulet, Liam Renner and Erik Thurston. Approximately 34,000 students (two-thirds) of the top 50,000 highest scoring students are honored with Commended Student awards each year. This commendation recognizes students' academic success and potential, demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the October 2017 PSAT qualifying test – which they took as juniors. 


Also, four Mount Si seniors earned the College Board’s National Hispanic Scholar recognition for scoring among the top 2% of Hispanic/Latino students nationwide who took the PSAT, and earning at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average. They include (alphabetically): Antonio Gil, Sophia Ojeda, Christian Palomo and Stephan Rubalcava.


 National Merit Commended Students from Mount Si High School - Class of 2019

Congratulations to Mount Si’s Class of 2019 National Merit Commended Students

(pictured left to right, back row): Ryan Horn, Ezra Bacon-Gershman, Erik Thurston,

Wyatt Holcombe, Liam Renner and Sophia Hulet (front).


National Hispanic Scholars from Mount Si High School - Class of 2019

Mount Si High School’s National Hispanic Scholars include: Stephan Rubalcava,

Christian Palomo and Sophia Ojeda; and Antonio Gil (not pictured, at Running Start).

Congratulations to these impressive seniors!


Read about their future goals and their advice to freshmen just starting high school:

  • Ezra Bacon-Gershman plans to attend a 4-year university to major in chemistry or food science. He would also like to continue throwing discus throughout his college career. Advice for 9th graders: “Make sure that you keep stress at a minimum, which isn’t too hard if you stay organized and get a lot of sleep. Find something that you are passionate about and invest your time into it -- whether it is academic or athletic, for yourself or for others (community service), it doesn’t matter as long as you love it.”
  • Wyatt Holcombe plans to pursue a computer science degree at UW or some other good school, to become a computer programmer or software developer. “Don’t put off everything until the last minute. Try to get things done ahead of time and your life will be less stressful – unless you’re really good at doing assignments under pressure. Even then, I don’t recommend making a habit of it.”
  • Ryan Horn plans to study biomedical engineering or biochemistry at a 4-year university or college, and hopes to continue playing music in college. His advice is “Buy a planner. Participate in extra-curriculars. Find what interests you and follow it! Do BAND!”
  • Sophia Hulet plans to go to a 4-year university and will likely major in physics. She also wants to attend grad school, earn a Ph.D. in astrophysics, and work at NASA. Her advice: “Get politically engaged! Don’t worry about taking extremely difficult course loads. Take harder classes in subjects you enjoy, not just to fill your schedule with advanced classes. Take care of yourself, and put your mental health first. Live your truth! The world needs the unique individual that you are!”
  • Sophia Ojeda is interested in studying international business with a marketing concentration and a minor in Spanish language, either at University of Washington or Fordham University in New York. She also wants to study abroad somewhere in Europe, probably Spain, during college. “You don’t have to know what you want to do in your future yet. Give it time. And, prioritize your mental health in school.”
  • Christian Palomo is planning to major in finance or economics, at Stanford or an east coast college. His advice: “College itself or which college you attend does not guarantee success. Rather, it is your character and personal traits that is more indicative of success. Use the short time you have in high school to build your character and discover who you are to set you up for success, no matter how dire or favorable the circumstances.”
  • Liam Renner plans to get an English creative writing degree from Western Washington University, followed by a master’s in fine arts or a master’s in education at the University of Washington. Advice for 9th graders: “Take time to enjoy yourself! High school is a difficult time for a lot of people. Don’t overload your schedule, don’t force yourself into situations you can’t handle. Challenge yourself, but know your limits.”
  • Stephan Rubalcava plans to study computer science or business at UW (1st choice), Gonzaga or WSU. He recommends: “Set realistic goals for yourself. I’ve seen plenty of people spend all of high school stressing out because they set a crazy high goal for themselves, that most of the time isn’t worth it. But that doesn’t mean don’t shoot as high as you can. I’ve found some of the best learning experiences for me in high school haven’t been from any classes I was taking.”
  • Erik Thurston plans to pursue a double major in political science and music next year at some university. “Sleep is super important, probably just as important as grades. I’ve found teachers will always give extensions if you coordinate in advance and self advocate. Don’t be afraid to try everything and find a couple of things that you like (maybe band) and stick with it. Also, find time to do things outside of school. And, buy a physical planner, it will keep you on track and sane.”


On Wednesday, October 10, all juniors, sophomores and freshmen took the PSAT/NMSQT® in order to prepare them for the SAT and post-high school educational goals. This is the second year that our school district funded the PSAT practice test for all freshmen, sophomores and juniors at Mount Si High School and Two Rivers School, to help all students realize their potentials to pursue a college degree. 


For more information regarding the College Board/PSAT & National Merit scholarships, please visit: