Seniors Earn National Recognition for Academic Achievements

Seniors Earn National Recognition for Academic Achievements
Debbie Higgins

De Smet Jesuit is proud to announce that seniors Josh Williams ’22 and Nico Lionelli ’22 have received national recognition for their academic achievement on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).

“De Smet Jesuit High School congratulates Josh and Nico for their achievement on this challenging test,” said Chris Williams, Assistant Principal for Academics. “We are all proud of them for their efforts in the classroom each and every day to maximize their academic and personal potential. Millions of students around the country take the PSAT each year and it takes a very special student to earn these honors.”

Josh Williams is one of 16,000 National Merit Scholarship Competition Semifinalists nationwide. The national pool of semifinalists represents less than one percent of high school seniors earning a qualifying score on the PSAT/NMSQT® test.  Josh is now eligible to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships that will be offered next spring.

One strategy Josh uses to be successful as a student is completing homework the day it is assigned. “De Smet’s challenging classes require more work than I was initially used to, so I learned to be more organized,” he said. Math is a favorite subject because “there’s a ton of different problem types that you can do to test your skills, as compared to subjects that require a lot of memorization.” Though he doesn’t have a specific college major in mind, he is considering studying actuarial science or something in business, statistics, or economics.

Nico Lionelli has earned the designation of College Board National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar based on his PSAT/NMSQT® score and his outstanding academic achievement.

“I don’t use any particular strategy to be successful, but I do place a high priority on my academics,” Nico said. “Even if it means I might lose some sleep, I always put my greatest effort into achieving my goal in class.” His favorite subject? Social studies. “I enjoy challenging myself while learning about real-world relations in history, economics, or politics.”

“De Smet has helped me become a successful student because the teachers here really support me. They want every student to develop himself for a better future in college.”

Next year, Nico plans to attend college and pursue a degree in business and computer science.  

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