Skip to Main Content

Twelfth Grader Named National Merit Scholarship Finalist

Nathan G. ’23, a student at The Colorado Springs School since the 6th grade, has been named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist.

Of the 1.5 million high school students across the U.S. who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in the fall of 2022, Nathan was among just 16,000 students – including approximately three dozen Pikes Peak-area high schoolers – to be named a semifinalist. Now, he will compete for one of the 7,500 National Merit Scholarships to be awarded this spring.

“I'm not the sort of person who is uncomfortable with recognition,” Nathan said, “so, instead I find it motivating that I've been nationally recognized like this.”

He participates in theatre, cross country, Model United Nations, and Matchwits with CSS, the latter of which is his favorite extracurricular activity. “He obviously helps earn points by answering questions during Matchwits competitions, but he is even more valuable as an exceptional leader and team captain,” said CSS College & Career Counselor Erik Playe. “He takes care of computer malfunctions during online events, and he keeps the team calm and focused during matches. He praises his teammates and knows how to call on their strengths in competition.”

Nathan, a staple of his school’s theatre program, has participated in performances at CSS since Middle School and is also in the process of completing an internship with Theatre Director Jonathan Andujar. In addition to assisting with the management of CSS’s busy Louisa Performing Arts Center, Nathan’s work thus far has included research on theatre styles and a dramaturgy assignment on the play 1984.

“Nathan is a great asset to the production team,” Andujar said. “He is easy to direct as an actor. He’s also able to analyze the intent and mindset of a character with greater ease than other practitioners.”

Nathan appreciates the many connections that CSS forges between teachers and their students. “Between small classes and Seminars, the students become very familiar with teachers, which is an aspect of the experience I really like,” he said.

A signature program among students PreK through Grade 12 at CSS, Seminars reinforce students' academic skills and help them acquire life lessons through first-hand experiences. For Nathan, his 8th-grade Walkabout Seminar – a nine-day exploration of Utah’s canyon and river country emphasizing leadership lessons and growth – was “extremely memorable.” “Spending that much time away from home and with my classmates was a very novel experience for me,” he said.

This month, Nathan is participating in an Experience-Centered (ECS) Seminar focused on cultural immersion in France and seeking to answer the essential question, “What can we learn from a culture much older than our own country’s?”

“I've only left the country a few times, and I've never been in a country that predominantly spoke a foreign language before,” he said. “I'm excited to see what that experience will be like! I chose this ECS because of my passion for French, and it will be nice to have a chance to exercise it now that I've essentially graduated from CSS's French curriculum.”

Upon graduating from The Colorado Springs School this May, Nathan plans to study economics at Colorado College in the fall. “I think economics is critical in understanding many of the world's problems. Becoming an expert in the field will allow me to be a more responsible citizen,” he said.