Le Roy senior is Merit semifinalist

Submitted photoAJ Schmidt, a senior at Le Roy Junior-Senior High School, is in the running for a prestigious scholarship. School officials are praising his talent and dedication.

LE ROY — A senior at Le Roy Junior-Senior High School has been named a semifinalist in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Competition.

“I am speechless, all of my hard work has led up to this point,” said AJ Schmidt in a news release. “I am very honored to be in this position.”

The NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955, specifically to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds, along with about 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less then 1% of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

“AJ does an outstanding job both in the classroom and the school community,” said Jay Laitenberger his AP U.S. history teacher and coach. “He always puts his best effort into everything he does and it shows in all aspects. It is a true privilege to work with a student-athlete like AJ and see him grow throughout the year. It was a lot of fun to see him take on the challenge of cross country and track last year and excelling in it as well.”

“I could not be more proud of AJ for being selected as a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and could not think of anyone more deserving of such an honorable recognition,” said High School Counselor Austin Dwyer. “AJ’s success in the classroom is a pure reflection of his work ethic and desire to achieve at an exceptionally high level.

“His passion to discover and continuously learn new things is inspiring to not only his peers, but also the adults in our building,” Dwyer continued. “It is a privilege to serve as his high school counselor and I am so excited to see what the future holds for him.”

Dwyer’s thoughts were echoed by Junior-Senior High School Principal Tim McArdle.

“We are so proud of AJ as he continues to excel and reach new heights,” he said. “His work ethic and attention to detail are remarkable both in the classroom and beyond. AJ is an amazing Knight who continues to challenge himself both in and out of the classroom. We cannot wait to see what life has in store for him!”

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