Westerville City Schools Board of Education Recognizes National Merit Semifinalists


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On Monday evening, September 23, the Westerville City Schools Board of Education, Superintendent John Kellogg, and Treasurer Nicole Marshall recognized seven students in the Westerville City School District who were recently named National Merit Semifinalists.  They are Juliet Bernard, Robert Boyd and Justin Wade (Westerville Central High School); Mason (Ricky) Fite, Lauren Haines and Marin Kalista (Westerville North); and Mason Harris (Westerville South).  These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring.  The group was congratulated for this outstanding accomplishment and thanked for bringing honor and distinction to the district.  Scott Reeves, Executive Director of Secondary Academic Affairs, presented them.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Bernard is a senior at Central, where she plays volleyball and participates in track and field.  She is a member of the National Honor Society, Young Feminists Club, and the Gay-Straight Alliance Club.  She has also been involved in 4-H for the past nine years, and she shows Boer goats and Hampshire and Dorset sheep at the county, state and national level.  She plans to attend Hillsdale College to further her educational and athletic career by majoring in Biochemistry and participating in track and field in the hammer throw, weighted throw, javelin and shot put. 

Robert Boyd is a senior at Westerville Central who loves learning and has earned “All A’s” Honor Roll recognition every year.  He plays for the varsity tennis team, captains the debate Club, volunteers his time to the community through his church, and founded and leads the Computer Science Club.  He enjoys playing piano, socializing over board games, and reading.  Boyd plans to start an entrepreneurial venture after college.

Mason (Ricky) Fite has been focused on the sciences and the medical pathway curriculum.  Last year, through his Medical Interventions Project Lead the Way course, he was able to shadow in different departments at St. Ann’s Hospital and Nationwide Children’s Close to Home.  He plans to pursue a degree in the medical field in college.  He is a member of the National Honor Society.  As a transgender student and senior, Fite is looking to take on a leadership role in the LGBTQ community at Westerville North.  Outside of school, he enjoys listening to rock bands from his parent’s era. 

Lauren Haines, a bass player in the Westerville North orchestra, is passionate about art and music.  She is interested in the sciences and is specifically concerned with climate change and the environment.  She is a member of the Westerville Trailblazers and is actively involved in her church group outside of school.  She is an LGBT+ advocate through North’s GSA club.  She hopes to attend The Ohio State University. 

Mason Harris has attended Westerville South for the past four years.  From preschool through middle school, he was educated at a private school affiliated with Xenos Christian Fellowship.  He says school has always been fun and easy for him and he makes fast friends wherever he goes.  He spends most of his time outside of school working, “hanging out with friends,” or going to various church activities.  After high school, Harris plans to go to The Ohio State University where he will pursue a degree in Computer Science and Engineering. 

Marin Kalista is captain of North’s softball team.  She also serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Odyssey, the school newspaper.  She is co-leader of Warrior to Warrior, a student-led peer-based mentoring program that offers academic assistance to fellow students.  In addition, this National Honor Society member mentors freshmen to help them navigate through their first year of high school, as a Senior Mentor. 

Justin Wade, a senior at Central, is involved in various activities both in and out of school.  He plays on the volleyball team and is a member of the National Honor Society, helping tutor other high school students in numerous subjects.  He has participated in multiple local mission trips with his church, and earned the rank of Eagle Scout in BAS Troop 64.  For his Eagle Scout project, Wade designed and led the construction of a garden shed at Genoa Middle School.  His hobbies include playing bass guitar, writing music, playing board games, cooking and lifting weights.  He plans to become an engineer and also entertains the thought of writing and producing music.  He currently holds a part-time job at Panda Express.