Drawing attention to the “best of the best” is what Principal Bill Scheffler had in mind when honoring top National Merit students.
“This is one of my favorite things to do. It draws attention to the best of the best, which I think is what we have here today,” Scheffler said.
This year seven outstanding students from Mehlville and Oakville High Schools were recognized at , the sixth year the luncheon program has been in place. Four of those students also received the Missouri Scholars 100 achievement.
The Missouri Scholars 100 is a program sponsored by the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals. Schools from throughout Missouri were invited to nominate candidates for this state-wide recognition.
Each school could only nominate two students, and Mehlville and Oakville High Schools were four for four, with Sarah Rushing and Mark Messler from Mehlville, and Michael Weaver and Justin Bayer from Oakville, receiving the top honor.
The selection is based primarily on a formula using the student’s grade point average and ACT or SAT score. In addition, each student had to meet criteria of an “Academic Decathlon,” which included 10 events designed to assure the academic strength of the student.
To meet the decathlon requirements, the student must have a minimum GPA of 3.75, a minimum ACT score of 29 or a minimum SAT score of 1,900, to be ranked in the upper 10 percent of their senior class, and have taken upper, honors or advanced placement level courses in mathematics, science, English and foreign language.
The student must also have excellent attendance, be an exemplary citizen and be involved in school activities.
“We could only nominate two each, and to have four out of four is a testament to our schools,” Scheffler said. “It’s something we are quite proud of.”
Five of the seven National Merit students attended the luncheon. Bayer was taking an AP test and Rushing’s father spoke for her, stating that she was taking care of calculus duties.
“This is a big honor for her,” said Rushing’s father, who also is a teacher at Mehlville High School. “We are very happy about it—she will also be doing a research fellowship.”
The five remaining students stood and spoke about their future college plans.
Denise Swanger, Mehlville High School Principal, also took time to recognize Scheffler on the “wonderful service he’s given Oakville the past couple of years” and wished him a happy retirement.
Terry Noble, Mehlville School District Superintendent, ended the luncheon with positive words of encouragement.
“I just want to say congratulations to the students—it’s a tremendous honor and a reflection on your work and your families,” Noble said. “All of us who have a connection with the Mehlville School District are very proud of you and it sounds like you’ve chosen great careers.”