Garrett Demaree earns honor by National Merit Scholarship board

  A Switzerland County High School senior has earned commendation for his outstanding achievement in academics.


A Switzerland County High School senior has earned commendation for his outstanding achievement in academics.

Garrett Demaree has been notified by the National Merit Scholarship Foundation that he has been honored as a ‘Commended Student’.

The honor, which involves taking the PSAT score that the student achieves during the junior year, takes the top 50,000 scores nationwide out of the more than 1.6 million who take the test.

“They put those 50,000 students into a pool, and then they take the top 16,000 of that 50,000 and they are considered Semi Finalists,” Garrett said. “The other 34,000 are considered Commended Students. I was in that 34,000 that didn’t quite make the cut as a finalist, but I was in the top 50,000 in the nation.”

Garrett learned of the honor last week, when he was presented with a special certificate of achievement by Switzerland County High School principal David Todd.

“I actually found out about six months ago, probably early Spring, that I had made it into the 50,000; but I didn’t find out until now that I wouldn’t be moving on.”

Along with the outstanding PSAT score that landed him on this prestigious list, Garrett continues to excel in the classroom and academically — as his SAT scores (academic scores colleges and universities use for consideration of admission) prove.

Garrett earned a perfect score of 800 on the math portion of the SAT, and nearly duplicated that by earning a score of 730 on the English/Language Arts portion. That’s an overall score of 1530 out of a possible 1600.

“I am very happy and honored to achieve these scores,” Garrett said. “It’s like a sports athlete who spends three hours a night practicing for many years and finally gets that ‘grand slam moment’. Like the athlete, I study for 3+ hours a night for these tests. I am so ecstatic that all of this work has finally paid off.”

And, like the athlete, Garrett also excels athletically and in other aspects of his high school career.

Garrett currently is the leading runner on the boys cross country team, and he also participates in track on the golf and archery teams. Along with those sports, he’s currently the President of both the student council and the Business Professionals of America; is involved in the Key Club and the National Honor Society. He’s also earned participation in the BPA’s National Leadership Conference for four years; and participated in the World Archery Competition for three years.

Garrett’s career plans include pursuing a degree in civil engineering; and although he has not yet made his college choice, he is carefully considering some of the top engineering schools in this area.

“I’m looking at a couple of different really good engineering schools, like Purdue, University of Michigan, University of Illinois, UK, Vanderbilt,” he said. “I’m wanting to pursue a master’s degree and eventually become a civil engineer.”

Garrett is the son of Ed and Christine Demaree.

Switzerland County High School Principal David Todd presents senior Garrett Demaree with a Certificate of Achievement in recognition of Garrett earning ‘Commended Student’ status in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. Only 34,000 students nationwide out of more than one million achieve test scores high enough to earn this distinction.

In the letter announcing his achievement as a ‘Commended Student’, the scope of the honor comes into focus:

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2019 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 106 million students who entered the 2019 competition by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital tot he advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”