Joaquin Santiago Pauig

Joaquin S. Pauig

BOWLING GREEN — Fifteen seniors from The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky have been recognized as Semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Among them is Joaquin Santiago Pauig (Corbin High School) of London.

Since The Gatton Academy’s inception in 2007, a total of 238 students have been named National Merit Semifinalists. Since students take the qualifying PSAT exam in October of their junior year of high school, much of their preparation stems from learning opportunities during their freshman and sophomore years of high school. The Gatton Academy builds on students’ sending school experiences to provide them with preparation for the ACT® and SAT®, critical components in becoming finalists.

More than 1.5 million juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as the initial screening of program entrants. From this list comes the nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

“The Gatton Academy’s Class of 2023 is clearly remarkable. This is one of many ways in which our students outstandingly represent the Commonwealth and their home communities. We applaud the excellent preparation our students received in their sending high schools and school districts,” stated Director of The Gatton Academy Dr. Lynette Breedlove. “We are proud of the hard work and focus with which these students pursue academic achievement. We are also proud of how they contribute to the community within our school, in Bowling Green, and in their hometowns.”

Of the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level. To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist and their school must submit a detailed scholarship application, providing information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout their high school career, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn ACT® and SAT® scores that confirm the Semifinalist’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Finalists will be announced in February, and all National Merit Scholarship winners for 2023 are selected from this group. Winners will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July 2023. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

For more information about The Gatton Academy, visit or call (270) 745-6565.

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