Andalusia student named National Merit semifinalist

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Will Parker, a senior at Andalusia High School, was named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist Tuesday. Stephanie Nelson/ Star-News




Will Parker is a man with a bright future.

Parker, a senior at Andalusia High School, was named a National Merit Scholarship semi-finalist Tuesday.

The National Merit Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Parker is one of 16,000 students nationwide, but the only one in Covington County, to earn the honor this year. He is eligible to share in some $32 million in scholarships offered next spring – if he fulfills several requirements needed to advance to the program’s finalist level.

Parker, who hopes to become an engineer, said becoming a National Merit Scholar is a goal for him. He said Tuesday’s announcement came as a surprise.

“I knew I was in the running because they told me after I took the PSAT that I scored high enough to be considered,” Parker said. “Wow. It’s such an honor.”

An A student, Parker said he has to push himself while juggling football and civic responsibilities in the Peer Helpers and Key clubs.

“I’ve always known that academics are important,” he said. “I worked for this. I got real serious about it in my junior year because I knew the best way to get scholarships for college was to be a National Merit Scholar.

“I’d probably be an A/B student if I didn’t study, so I have to work to be an A student,” he said. “Math and science are my best subjects, so that’s why I want to be an engineer. There’s so many avenues you can take with engineering. You can be a manager or you can be the one to invent things. That intrigues me.”

Parker is the son of Joe and Candy Parker of Andalusia.