Collin Lief national merit finalist

Collin Lief, a senior at Spring Lake Park High School, has been named as a National Merit finalist. Juniors entered the competition last spring by taking the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT).

Initially named as a semifinalist in the fall, Collin’s move to finalist standing is based on demonstrating distinguished performance and having a high potential for future academic accomplishment. There are more than 15,000 finalists, and this month, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation will narrow the list down to 7,500 winners to receive a scholarship. Winners will be notified and announced officially later this spring.

Hear more directly from Collin about this achievement, his experience at Spring Lake Park Schools and future plans.

How did you prepare for the PSAT and how do you feel about this accomplishment as a finalist?

I’ve taken lots of standardized tests throughout my school career, so that experience has helped to prepare me for the PSAT. I'm excited and honored to be a finalist. I know not many people get this award, so I'm grateful to be receiving it.

What highlights stand out to you as you reflect on your school career at Spring Lake Park Schools?

I have been in the district since 4th grade (2013), when I enrolled in the Lighthouse School. The environment at Lighthouse helped me become an independent learner and taught me all my academic skills. I learned how to write an essay, do presentations and research projects, and manage my time. I certainly would not be where I am if not for Lighthouse.

Another important academic experience was participating in the University of Minnesota Talented Youth Mathematics Program, which gave me an introduction to math and a college curriculum. World History with Mr. Stephenson and Language Arts with Ms. Prince were my favorite classes at the high school. They are two teachers that make class interesting and fun every day.

Some of my most memorable moments in high school have been on my sports teams (cross country, Nordic skiing, track and field), which I've participated in since middle school. I've met some of my closest friends and had some of my best times through athletics.

What are your current plans post-high school?

I'm interested in studying engineering or physics in college. Down the line, hopefully I'll end up with a graduate degree of some sort, but for now I'm focused on getting good grades and applying to colleges.

Boucher and Lief national merit semifinalist

Principal Boucher congratulates Collin Lief in fall 2021 for being named a National Merit semifinalist.