Homewood boasts 7 National Merit Semi-Finalists


National Merit Semi-Finalists Lily Giffin, Nathan Jones, Brandon Collins, Thomas Reed, Kiran McCool, J.W. Bird, and Bailey Pearson (photo by Brad Keim).

Josie Robertson, Staff Writer

This year, seven students from the class of 2023 have been named National Merit semi-finalists. Recipients of this title include J.W. Bird, Brandon Collins, Lily Giffin, Nathan Jones, Kiran McCool, Bailey Pearson, and Thomas Reed.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition that recognizes students who score above a qualifying base grade on the PSAT. Over 1.5 million high school students enter this program, but only a select few receive the honor of semi-finalist.

This year’s students were first noticed after achieving high scores on the 10th grade PSAT, which caught the attention of Homewood counselors.

“After seeing their scores, we were hoping to have more semi-finalists,” said 12th-grade counselor Bobby Deavers, adding that he is excited for the students’ potential to win scholarships. 

Last year, Homewood High School’s only recipient of the award was Kate Gillum, who now attends Wofford College. 

“There were a number of factors that could have contributed to the reason we did not have many finalists last year,” Deavers said, implying that Covid could have affected scores for the class of 2022.

This year’s students will find out if they achieve the status of National Merit Finalist on February 8th, 2023.