Each year students who have scored among the top 50,000 of over 1.6 million students taking the PSAT exam are named National Merit Students. Four Gonzaga Prep seniors have earned this title due to their performance on the PSAT exam. Monika Phipps, Bradley Sauvé, and Faith Pinney have been named National Merit Commended Students for having scored in the top three percent of all students in the nation on the PSAT exam. For scoring in the top one percent of the 1.6 million students in the nation Jakob Nordhagen has been named a National Merit Semi-Finalist. The success of each of these students is due to their experiences inside and outside of the classroom at Gonzaga Prep.
Jakob Nordhagen is a dedicated student involved in Knights of the Leash, Knowledge Bowl, and Math Team. He is quick to commend the teachers he has had over the last four years for making classes fun and entertaining. Specifically, his experiences in AP Calculus BC and Sra. Traynor’s Spanish classes have had a lasting impression on him. Before attending Gonzaga Prep Nordhagen was uncertain of what high school would be like. “Now I know that Prep is an amazing institution that works tirelessly to prepare its students for college and beyond,” said Nordhagen. Nordhagen is hoping to attend Stanford University in the fall and is leaning toward earning his degree in engineering or computer science.
Monika Phipps enjoys finding the absolute right answer when it comes to mathematical problems. This will aid her in the future as she is set on studying aerospace engineering, particularly aeronautical in the future. Community is a theme that has stuck out to Phipps during her time at Gonzaga Prep. Phipps is involved in the community through strings orchestra, the bowling team, and tennis. The bowling team in particular is a place where Phipps has found community. “I'm part of an amazing team and have met people I would never have seen otherwise,” said Phipps. She also recalls meeting two friends, Olivia and Isabelle Sikora, for the first time in English class. “We started talking to each other and sitting next to each other every day in class even hanging out with them during lunch and on weekends. They are incredible girls, and I'm so lucky to have met them.”
Bradley Sauvé is involved in Cross Country, Track, Band, ASB, Choir, Knowledge Bowl, and Green Team to name a few. Among Sauvé’s favorite classes at Gonzaga Prep is AP US History taught by Mrs. League. “It was a challenging course that was made up of an amazing group of people” and Mrs. Lauge “was always available to help or have a group discussion,” said Sauvé. The connection within the community at Prep gives Sauvé the confidence that “Prep is a place that will help you no matter what field you want to go into.” Sauvé is considering becoming an architect or a teacher in the future.
Faith Pinney has felt welcomed and encouraged during her time at Gonzaga Prep. Through Search retreat and her involvement in Orientation Crew, Varsity Basketball, and being an ASC Tutor Pinney has experienced and witnessed a community atmosphere that is welcoming to all people. Her favorite teacher and counselor, Mr. Kukuk has been an example of this welcoming nature. Because of the community emphasis at Gonzaga Prep Pinney has become friends with students that she may have never crossed paths with before. Pinney’s favorite class is AP Biology. “The content was extremely interesting and Mrs. Round changed the teaching style so it was never dull,” said Pinney. She plans on becoming a doctor or an engineer in the future.