HCSD Students Named National Merit Finalists

Two HCSD Students Named National Merit Scholarship Finalists

The Harrison County School District is proud to announce that two students are Finalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program - Luke Sauls and Tuong Tran.

Luke Sauls

Luke Sauls has been getting a lot of attention at Harrison Central High, since word started spreading around campus that he had been named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist.

"I thought that’s pretty cool! I was hoping to do well on it, but I wasn’t entirely sure, and when I got it, it was a bit of a relief honestly.  It was pretty exciting!" said Luke Sauls.

Luke and Tuong Tran of D'Iberville High are two students in the Harrison County School District who were named Finalists in the prestigious program. They were judged based on their academic performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. These high-achieving students will now have an opportunity to compete for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million dollars.

"I think there’s a two-fold significance. The first and most down to earth one would probably be scholarship money.  This is going to help me through college, help me through school, get a good education. That’s going to be beneficial to my career, and throughout my entire life, so it’s pretty monumental. And the other reason is a little bit more psychological.  It’s an achievement, signifier of something well done, something I’ve done right, and it’s encouraging," said Luke.

Before coming to Harrison Central High, Luke attended West Wortham Elementary & Middle School.  He credits his teachers for encouraging him to achieve his academic goals.

"They’ve all lent a lot of guidance, a lot of experience. I mean, they’ve seen a lot of kids through their school years so they know what they’re doing.  They know which tests you need to take, where you need to apply, what tips you should follow.  They’ve been an invaluable resource," said Luke.

When asked what he would like to say to all the teachers who helped him along the way, Luke replied: "I don’t think there’s much I can say to really make up for it besides ‘thank you’"!

Luke is a member of the National English Honor Society, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and Key Club.  He is always striving to achieve.  For instance, he made a 35 on his ACT.

Tuong Tran

Walk along the rotunda of D’Iberville High, and you will see Tuong Tran’s name posted on a number of banners. One of the banners showed that Tuong made a 32 on his ACT.  Now, this 17-year-old senior can add another honor to his list of achievements. 

Tuong learned this month that he has been named a Finalist in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program.

When asked about the news, Tuong said:  “I felt so relieved.  A part of me always knew I was capable.  I set high standards for myself, not only because my parents want me to succeed, but for the most part, because I, myself, want to succeed.  I do not want to be a financial burden; therefore, it is imperative that I do well.  I downplay successes, because I do not feel myself deserving of praise.”

Congratulations to Tuong Tran and Luke Sauls! The Harrison County School District is proud of these students' accomplishments and wish them both the best of luck!