Six Father Ryan Students Receive
National Academic Recognition
    • National Academic Honorees 2021

      Pictured (L-R): First Row: Marie Forbes, Nicolas Paz, Kemi Tela. Second Row: Jackson Weil, Jackson Kirkby, Steven Vanden Noven. Third Row: President Jim McIntyre, Academic Dean Jennifer Anton, Principal Paul Davis '81.

Six Father Ryan High School students - four from the Class of 2022 and two from the Class of 2023 - have been recognized as national scholars by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the College Board.



National Merit Scholars
Jackson Weil '22, Semifinalist
Marie Forbes '22, Commended Scholar
Steven Vanden Noven '22, Commended Scholar
National African American Recognition Program Scholars, by the College Board
Kemi Tela '23
Steven Vanden Noven '22
National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars, by the College Board
Jackson Kirkby '22
Nicolas Paz '23
Steven Vanden Noven '22



In making the announcement, Principal Paul Davis '81 said, “These six students have demonstrated an exceptional level of academic achievement and an enthusiasm for learning every day at Father Ryan. This national recognition reflects their intellectual strength, and it is a further indication of the commitment of the faculty and all our students to excel at their highest levels. We are proud of these and all of our students, and we congratulate each of them on these honors,” he concluded.



National Merit Scholars
Semifinalist

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  • Jackson Weil '22

    Jackson is a Saint Henry alumnus and parishioner who has achieved a number of recognitions for his academic work. 
     
    He is taking four AP courses as a senior, including AP Calculus BC and AP Physics 2, and completed two additional AP courses as a junior. In addition, he has been named a member of the National Honor Society and the Mu Alpha Theta Math honor society.
     
    A member of Norwood House, Jackson also represents Father Ryan High School to visitors and prospective families through his service as a Student Ambassador.



Commended Scholar

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  • Marie Forbes '22

    Marie has combined a love of running and a commitment to her faith with a strong academic performance. 
     
    This Saint Matthew graduate and parishioner is a member of the National Honor Society.  Her academic schedule includes four AP courses this year, with AP Calculus BC and AP Psychology among them. She completed two additional AP courses in prior years.  
     
    Marie is part of the very successful Lady Irish Cross Country Team, which finished runner-up in the State Meet this past year. The Student Engagement Chair of Emerald House, she is an active member of the Student Ministry Team, frequently serving as a lector and a Minister of Holy Communion at school Masses.  Her service activities earned her membership in the Saint Vincent de Paul Society as a junior. In addition, she was the recipient of the Father James Black Award of Excellence in 2019.



Commended Scholar

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  • Steven Vanden Noven '22

    A Christ the King alumnus and parishioner, Steven enjoys writing and running on top of carrying a full course load.

    A senior and a member of Trinity House, he is taking four AP courses this year, including studies in AP English Literature and AP Calculus BC, and he completed six additional AP courses in his sophomore and junior years. His classroom work has earned him membership in the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta.
     
    Away from the classroom, Steven competes on the Irish Cross Country Team which finished runner-up in the State meet last year. He is also an essayist, particularly concerning American History and Civics. His essay last year for the VFW Voice of Democracy Essay Contest placed third in Tennessee. 



National African American Recognition Program Scholars

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  • Kemi Tela '23

    Kemi is a junior at Father Ryan.  A Saint Edward alumna and Christ the King parishioner, she is taking three AP courses this year, including AP English Language and AP Environmental Science, and completed one additional AP course her sophomore year. 
     
    Kemi is a member of Emerald House and enjoys the theatre program where she is active with the Purple Masque Players.  She participates in government and law programs such as Model UN and Mock Trial, and she is engaged with the Multi-Cultural Student Union.  In addition, she is member of multiple clubs and organizations, from the Environmental Awareness Club to the Social Justice Club to the Spanish Club and the French Club. 

    Kemi is an active representative for Father Ryan as a Student Ambassador. In addition, she was a finalist for the Father James Black Award of Excellence in 2020.



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  • Steven Vanden Noven '22

    A Christ the King alumnus and parishioner, Steven enjoys writing and running on top of carrying a full course load.

    A senior and a member of Trinity House, he is taking four AP courses this year, including studies in AP English Literature and AP Calculus BC, and he completed six additional AP courses in his sophomore and junior years. His classroom work has earned him membership in the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta.
     
    Away from the classroom, Steven competes on the Irish Cross Country Team which finished runner-up in the State meet last year. He is also an essayist, particularly concerning American History and Civics. His essay last year for the VFW Voice of Democracy Essay Contest placed third in Tennessee. 



National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars

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  • Jackson Kirkby '22

    Jackson came to Father Ryan High School from MLK Magnet School last year and has combined his academic interests with a pursuit of sports here.
     
    Jackson is taking one AP course this year, having completed one additional AP course as a junior.  A member of Emerald House, Jackson also suits up in the winter to compete for the Irish on the Wrestling Team.



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  • Nicolas Paz '23

    With an interest in academics, Spanish, financial investing, and cross-country, Nicolas has found numerous ways to be involved at Father Ryan. 
     
    In the classroom, this junior is taking five AP courses, including Physics, Biology, and Microeconomics, and he completed three additional AP courses in his freshman and sophomore years. An alumnus of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami, he is a member of Norwood House and is active in the Spanish Club and the Investment Club at Father Ryan. In addition, he enjoys the opportunity to run and compete as part of the Irish Cross Country Team.



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  • Steven Vanden Noven '22

    A Christ the King alumnus and parishioner, Steven enjoys writing and running on top of carrying a full course load.

    A senior and a member of Trinity House, he is taking four AP courses this year, including studies in AP English Literature and AP Calculus BC, and he completed six additional AP courses in his sophomore and junior years. His classroom work has earned him membership in the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta.
     
    Away from the classroom, Steven competes on the Irish Cross Country Team which finished runner-up in the State meet last year. He is also an essayist, particularly concerning American History and Civics. His essay last year for the VFW Voice of Democracy Essay Contest placed third in Tennessee. 



About the National Merit Scholarship Corporation
 
The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) – a test which serves as an initial screen of more than 1.5 million entrants each year – and by meeting published program entry/participation requirements. 

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2021 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 353,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.
 
About the College Board Recognition Programs
 
The College Board National Recognition Programs create pathways to college for underrepresented students by awarding them academic honors and connecting them with universities across the country. 
 
The National Recognition Programs grant students academic honors that can be included on college and scholarship applications. Colleges use these honors to identify students from underrepresented groups who have excelled on their PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, or AP Exams and in their classrooms.