Academy senior among highest scoring in national merit test

Published 2:38 pm Thursday, May 25, 2023

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By all reports, Shashi Verma consistently goes the extra mile to achieve outstanding academic success. The J. Frank White Academy senior has proven time and again that his strong work ethic and commitment to schoolwork will carry him far into a shining future.

Verma most recently achieved a coveted spot during the 2022 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, scoring a 1480 out of a possible 1520 and landing him solidly in the top one percent from across the nation.

This impressive win has placed Verma as a contender among 50,000 of the highest-scoring students for the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program in which 1.3 million entrants participated.

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Verma will be recognized this fall in one of two categories – either as a semifinalist or a commended student.

Last June, Verma scored exceptionally well placing 35 out of a score of 36 in the ACT, easily earning a place in the top one-percent nationally.

The senior is active in many fields of endeavor. He is a member of the National Honor Society, the Beta and Key Clubs and is the captain of the JFWA Academic Team who went on to win the 2022-23 PBS East Tennessee Scholars Bowl.

During his time away from studies, Verma enjoys singing and playing the piano and guitar. He also finds time to play tennis and enjoy a bit of drone flying.

The senior is the first seed on his school tennis team, just winding up a very good season with all singles wins.

To the upcoming juniors, Verma’s advice is to “dream big, develop a plan and stick to it.”

Verma credits his academic success to his school Principal Bobby Lockhart, Assistant Principal Delaina Rhodes, his Guidance Counselor Jamie Baker and all his teachers, “especially math teacher Judy Collins and English teachers Mr. Massengill and Thomas.”