Athens Academy Seniors Recognized by National Merit

Staff Report

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

Athens Academy is pleased to announce that fourteen members of the Class of 2023 have been recognized by national organizations based on their performance on the October 2021 PSAT/NMSQT.

Congratulations to Seager Hunt, Robie Lucas, and Thomas Meyer, who have been named Semi- finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Program. As Semi-finalists, these three students represent the top 1-2% of the highest scoring seniors across the country. They will continue in the competition for National Merit scholarships, which will be announced next spring.

While Athens Academy’s Class of 2023 comprises just 6% of the seniors in Clarke and Oconee County schools, these three students represent 21% of the total Semi-finalists across both counties. Athens Academy, Clarke Central High School, Oconee County High School, and North Oconee High School reported a total of 14 Semi-finalists. No other schools in these counties had students scoring at the highest level for National Merit recognition.

In addition, eight seniors have been recognized as National Merit Commended Students, representing the top 3-4% of the highest scorers across the country. Congratulations to Sarah Harrison, Lucy Hayes, Will Hines, Simms Murray, Jackson Scruggs, Kishan Shah, Ricardo Ureña, and Madeline Wicker.

The College Board has also honored senior Nina Killian with the National African American Recognition Award, and Mark Tribble and Rodrigo Vega have been honored as National Hispanic Recognition Award winners. These awards are based on their 2021 PSAT scores as well as their previous academic performance.

Congratulations to all of these very talented seniors! We are proud of our students and all the others being recognized across our region.

Pictured, front row: Upper School Director Susan Zalac, Robie Lucas, Nina Killian, Maddie Wicker, Sarah Harrison, Jackson Scruggs; back row: Head of School John Thorsen, Ricardo Ureña, Thomas Meyer, Kishan Shah, Seager Hunt, Will Hines, Simms Murray, Mark Tribble, Lucy Hayes, Rodrigo Vega.

The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). Of the 1.5 million entrants, some 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT® Selection Index scores (critical reading + mathematics + writing skills scores) qualify for recognition in the National Merit® Scholarship Program.

Athens Academy is an independent, co-educational school for students in K3 through 12th grade, located on a beautiful 152-acre campus in Northeast Georgia. Now in its 56th year, Athens Academy pursues its mission of “excellence with honor” through academics, athletics, fine arts, and service and leadership. Ranked the #1 private school in Athens, #9 private school in the state of Georgia, and #1 private school outside Metro Atlanta (

For more information, please contact Kelley Cuneo, communications director, at [email protected] or 706-433-2410.