The Gunston School is pleased to announce Senior Zacharia (Zach) Mozher of Middletown, Del. has been selected as a semifinalist in the 68th annual National Merit® Scholarship Program, making him a part of the top 16,000 high school students selected out of 1.5 million qualified applicants.
National Merit semifinalists represent less than one percent of high school seniors in the United States and include the highest-scoring entrants in each state. Mozher will be competing for about 7,500 scholarships worth almost $30M. Roughly 15,000 semifinalists will advance to the finalist level in February, with scholarships awarded later in the spring. The application process is rigorous, requiring an outstanding academic record as well as a detailed record of school and community engagement in various activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, endorsements and recommendations by a high school official, an essay, and near perfect SAT or ACT scores.
“As an academic, Zach chose to accelerate his studies starting in grade nine,” said Assistant Head of School Christie Grabis. “At the close of this year, he will have completed 11 AP courses. He is also a National Honor Society peer tutor and highly effective working with others.”
Last year, Mozher was selected by the faculty for Gunston’s Paul M. Long Award, given to the “junior who in his/her first three years at Gunston has made the greatest contribution to the school via academic work, student government, clubs, sports, service activities, chorus, drama, and general effort, time, and energy expended in the interest of the school. The award is named in honor of Paul M. Long who was Headmaster for 19 years.”
“Zach is more than a student; he's a scholar, athlete, and citizen of the highest order. He led the school's academic team to multiple appearances at the National Small School Quiz Bowl Championships in Chicago, where he ranks near the top of all scorers,” added Head of School John Lewis.
Mozher’s advisor, Tom Chafey agrees. “Zach is an exceptional student and he certainly has a fantastic knack for coding and a powerful curiosity for technology.”
Mozher himself is interested in biology and is considering a pre-med track and eventually becoming a doctor. “AP bio was the first time I ever studied biology in-depth, and the more I learned, the more it blew my mind,” he said. Becoming a semifinalist was indeed a goal of his and he offered this advice to others, “I think at the end of the day, it comes down to prioritizing school work and studying and making sure that gets done before everything else. Planning ahead and good time management are also really important, especially when it comes to studying for the PSAT and SAT.”