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Smart Students HCS-Style: National Merit Semifinalists and 36 ACT Score

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10-04-2012 (HCS) – Hoover High School senior Sushmitha Yarrabothula approached her ACT exam with a strategy. Before tackling the test with all she had, she wanted to see what the ACT was all about. So, with minimal preparation, she took the exam in February 2012. She made a 34.

Then, Sushmitha went all out. She took Hoover High School’s school-provided ACT assistance program - PrepMe – and sat for the ACT again a few weeks ago. If you read the headline to this piece, you know the result: Sushmitha made a 36.

“[The second time around] it seemed harder for some reason,” Sushmitha said. “I was thinking to myself, ‘I hope my score doesn’t go down.’”

Quite the opposite. Now, with proud parents and a bright future, Sushmitha (Class of 2013) looks ahead to college. On her radar, Vanderbilt, Duke and Auburn.

Her advice to others sitting for the exam?

“Don’t stress out about it and take the PrepMe course.”

She wasn't the first HCS student to make a 36 - and won't be the last.  Yarrabothula was also recently announced in another prestigious academic circle. She was named a National Merit Semifinalist in September along with three fellow Hoover High School students and a record seven Spain Park High School students.

HCS National Merit Semifinalists*
[Every year approximately 1.5 million students in more than 22,000 high schools enter the National Merit Scholarship Competition by virtue of their PSAT scores. The Semifinalists pool represents less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors in each state]

Sushmitha Yarrabothula (HHS)
Jacob Locker (HHS)
Joe Berry (HHS)
Abdullah Tarawneh (HHS)
Carrie Culwell (SPHS)
Brannum Forsyth (SPHS)
Dion Hagan (SPHS)
Austin Huerkamp (SPHS)
Christopher Jaudon (SPHS)
Maxwell Pickering (SPHS)
Kevin Yang (SPHS)

HCS National Merit Achievement Semifinalists
[More than 160,000 students compete for the honor of 1,600 National Achievement Semifinalists (NAC) spots in this highly competitive academic competition. These students represent the highest –scoring program entrants in their state]

Corey McCloud (HHS)
Khalil Saadia (HHS)
Oliver Barreau (SPHS)
Simone Charley (SPHS)
Dion Hagan (SPHS)

HCS National Merit Commended Scholars
[National Merit Commended (NMC) students also are recognized for their outstanding academic promise. These students represent seven of the 34,000 Commended students nationally. NMC students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2013 competition]

Joseph Carton (HHS)
Henry Diggins (HHS)
Sydney Hall (HHS)
Alexander Lalisan (HHS)
Katherine Bradner (HHS)
Camden Cutright
Carter Fields (SPHS)
Neil Hardy (SPHS)
Henry King (SPHS)
Nathan Norden (SPHS)
Jonathan Phillips (SPHS)
Christian Tincher (SPHS)

*record year for Spain Park High School with regard to Semifinalists

 Jason Gaston/Office of Public Relations/205.439.1054

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Hoover City Schools
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