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Congratulations to National Merit Finalists Owen Nettles and Daniel Scanlon

Meet Our National Merit Finalists

Two New Hope-Solebury School District students, Owen Nettles and Daniel Scanlon, were distinguished as National Merit Scholarship Finalists in the 66th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Owen and Dan join the 7,600 students selected among 1.2 million juniors representing 21,000 schools nationally to receive National Merit honors.

owen nettles

For Owen Nettles, “the recognition that comes with being a National Merit finalist is something special.” Owen has devoted much of his time in New Hope-Solebury High School to his coursework and to running track, through which he has formed strong friendships and helped build a tight-knit team. The runners have developed their own traditions, one of his favorites being their journeys to various local landmarks, a tradition they call “Adventure Running.” Owen’s time on the track team and experiences managing shin splints have also driven his interest in orthopedics, which he plans to examine further at the University of Notre Dame with a potential major in physics or engineering.

As Owen considers the college experience, he feels his education at New Hope-Solebury has thoroughly prepared him for what lies ahead. The block scheduling framework has made his courses longer, more challenging, and helpful preparation for the rigorous coursework he anticipates in his future. While he always intended to study biology, his experiences in Mr. Sorensen’s honors and advanced placement physics courses helped him discover how much he enjoys problem-solving and applying his skills in mathematics, even when he calls Mr. Sorensen’s AP course, the “hardest he’s ever taken!”  

daniel scanlon

Dan Scanlon plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Digital Media Design and to pursue an interdisciplinary degree, one that allows him to apply the social sciences, fine arts, and humanities to computer science. Throughout his high school experience, he has challenged himself with his coursework and explored his passions for music as a bassoonist and for theater as a leading member of Mask and Zany.  

Dan attributes his successes in New Hope-Solebury Schools to the many resources made available for students and to his exceptionally qualified teachers, who encourage students to explore their curiosities and to hone their strengths. For example, when his teacher Senora Reh discovered that he was fluent in Spanish, she recruited Dan to help translate math content for other students. It helped him to further his language skills while giving him the chance to provide an important service for his classmates. He said of his school, “you can build powerful connections with people and there are so many resources…I knew I could explore whatever I wanted here at some level.”