Thornton Academy News

Two seniors named National Merit Semifinalists
Katy Nicketakis

Thornton Academy is proud to announce that two members of the class of 2022 have been named National Merit® Scholar Semifinalists. Laura Ouellette and Michael Burns, both from Saco, are among more than 1.5 million students in approximately 21,000 high schools who entered the 2020 National Merit® Scholarship Program by taking the 2020 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). Their scores place them in the top one percent of all high school seniors nationwide, making them eligible to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit® Scholarships worth more than $31 million. These coveted scholarships will be awarded in the spring of 2022.  

Headmaster Rene Menard expressed his pride for these two students. 

“I speak for the entire faculty and staff of Thornton Academy when I congratulate these scholars on this impressive achievement. This recognition represents years of hard work and dedication to their studies,” Menard said. 

Ouellette has taken advantage of Thornton Academy’s wide range of course offerings and plans to major in Environmental Engineering next year. She is currently applying to colleges across the country. She credits TA teacher Mr. Jason Cote and Saco Middle School teacher Mr. Rienhartsen for pushing  her to achieve at a high academic level. 

Burns is focused on the future and is enrolled in dual enrollment courses at the University of Southern Maine this year, allowing him to earn college credit while still in high school. 

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. More than 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.