Zheng named a National Merit Scholar | Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools
May 23, 2024

Zheng named a National Merit Scholar

For the first time since 2019, Buffalo High School has a National Merit Scholar.

Senior Yiqian “Lexi” Zheng was named a semifinalist for the rare honor in September, became a finalist over the winter months, and received word on Monday, May 20, that she was one of only about 7,000 students to receive a National Merit Scholarship out of 1.3 million students from 21,000 schools who took the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

That means she earned her way into the top 0.5% of students who took the test nationwide.

“It’s fun that I actually made it all the way through the process,” she said.

Her selection for a scholarship completes a long National Merit journey that began when she was named one of 16,000 semifinalists for the honor last fall. To become a finalist, she had to submit a detailed application and show a track record of very high academic performance.

“In terms of the core values we have at BHS, Lexi truly models what it means to be a kind, proud, driven leader,” said BHS Principal Mark Mischke. “She is an outstanding representative of our school and I am proud to congratulate her on this achievement once again.”

Zheng becomes the first Buffalo High School student to claim the National Merit Scholar title since Emma Kuitunen and Mya Otto did so in 2019.

“I generally do well in these timed test-taking environments because I go really fast, so testing has never been a huge struggle for me,” said Zheng. “But this is supposed to be a measure of how well you’re going to do at college. So to know that I made it all the way through and I had satisfactory results, that feels good.”

In the fall, Zheng plans to the attend the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering in the Twin Cities with an initial emphasis on chemistry. That could change, however, as she has also considered careers in copywriting and journalism.

“For a little while I was thinking about going to be a pharmacist, but that takes a long time and I don’t know if I want to wait that long to get a real job,” said Zheng. “So I might think about being a lab scientist doing research, which is something I’ve pictured myself doing for a couple of years,” she said.

While the primary focus of her studies is still somewhat undecided, Zheng does plan to pursue a minor in graphic design and to continue her study of music.

“I’m going to audition for the university bands and the marching band, probably the jazz band too, and keep trying to take private clarinet and piano lessons,” she said.

Grads walking
Choose BHM?
Girl playing violin
BHM Videos
Teacher working with student
Apply to
Work at BHM