• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Connor Akers named National Merit Scholarship semifinalist


WCHS SENIOR Connor Akers, recognized by the Woodford County Board of Education for being named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, is pictured, with board member Sherri Springate. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

National Merit Scholarship semifinalist Connor Akers, a senior at Woodford County High School, was recognized by the Woodford County Board of Education recently for being among 16,000 students from across the nation who qualified for the academic honor.

Connor ranked in the top one percent of students across the country who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year, about 50,000 students with the highest PSAT/NMSQT test scores qualify for National Merit Scholarship Program recognition.

“This is a very prestigious honor and we’re very proud of Connor for his efforts,” said schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins during the board’s recognition Oct. 22 at Simmons Elementary School.

Connor, 17, said he plans to pursue a degree in chemical engineering at Tennessee Technological University, but has not chosen a career path.

“I feel like I could be happy in a lot of things and do well in a lot of things, but I’m not really one for planning that far ahead,” said Connor during an interview after being honored by the school board.

Besides being a high achiever in the classroom, Connor said he competes on the high school’s academic team, performs in theatrical productions, sings in the choir, and plays with the orchestra and jazz band.

“My involvement in music helps me think in a different way, and it’s also relaxing. So after a day of taking a test or school work or whatever, I can relax and unwind and use a different part of my brain, which is something I really enjoy,” said Connor, who without hesitation names math as his favorite subject. There may be different ways to get to an answer, but he said, “There’s always a right answer in math.”

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