Inside Holmen High School, one student now joins only a handful in district history. Senior Nicholas Haas is a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program, scoring in the top 1% of 1.6 million others on the PSAT.
“I like to do as much as possible and do as much as I can,” Haas said. “My parents have taught me to always push myself and started out pushing me with math and reading.”
Since the National Merit Scholarship's beginning in 1955, only 23 from the Holmen district have been a finalist. Haas is now number 24.
“He's been committed since day one when he started his education,” said Holmen High School Principal Bob Baer. “He spoke about other students trying to achieve and he sets a good example for that. That helps for future kids.”
On top of maintaining stellar academic standings, he's also involved in cross country and track... a lot to manage, but Haas says what he's learned in one, helps the other.
“It's important to like run everyday and train consistently,” said Haas. “I think that's the same with school work. If you work on it consistently it'll come easily and you'll do well at it.”
Even with all the attention and recognition, those around him say he's taking it all in stride.
“When I went down and told his guidance counselor that he was going to be a finalist, one of our language arts teachers was in there,” said Baer. “I think the three adults in the office at that time were more excited than Nick was.”
Haas says he wants to pursue a PHD in math at UW-Madison.
Scholarships will be awarded to about half of all finalists beginning this month.
Haas will be honored among other students during the Winter Activities Recognition Assembly.
That will be Tuesday, March 13 at 9:15 AM at Holmen High School.