Tippecanoe School Corporation
National Merit scholarship finalists
Sue Scott

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation named its 2021 finalists that include seven students from the Tippecanoe School Corporation. Finalists are chosen based on their preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) scores and a recommendation from a school administrator. The finalists are Jamie Brooks of McCutcheon High School and Orion Freed, Song Kim, Benjamin Obert, Adam Schick, Lauren Smith and Caleb Weber from Harrison High School.

Meet the finalists:

Jamie Brooks participated in Speech Team, GSA and Spell Bowl at McCutcheon High School. Jamie will be attending Purdue University to study elementary education. “I would credit my speech coach Ms. Laura Whitcombe and my Spell Bowl coach Ms. Cindy Aubuchon for helping with my success in high school,” says Jamie. “They both pushed me to work hard, while also supporting me and reminding me to treat myself with compassion."

Orion Freed is involved in Robotics and Cybersecurity Club at Harrison High School. After graduation, Orion plans to study political science. “I’d credit all of my teachers for making me the student I am today,” says Orion. “I am particularly thankful for Mr. (Doug) Klumpe. He’s been my math teacher for three years and my robotics coach for four years. I am grateful for the high quality of instruction he has provided me.”

Song Kim competed in the Harrison Quiz Bowl, Science Bowl, Math Club, Academic Super Bowl and Pit Band. She plans to study computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She credits her Harrison High School math teacher Doug Klumpe for her success. “He is an amazing teacher and has been really supportive of my endeavors in and out of school,” says Song.

Benjamin Obert runs cross country and track for the Raiders and participates in Quiz Bowl, Science Bowl, Math Club, CREW, National Honor Society and Athletic Leadership Council. He plans to attend Purdue University to study mathematics. He credits Mr. Klumpe for his success at Harrison High School.

Adam Schick plans to attend college, then enter the US Navy. “I greatly appreciate all of my teachers I have had during my tenure at TSC,” says Adam. “In particular, I would like to thank Mrs. Warner, Dr. Mason, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Henderson and my counselor, Mrs. Staszewski for helping me through one of the most difficult periods of my life, and providing daily affirmation that the long 63 mile drive to school each day is worth it.”

Lauren Smith served as captain of the Harrison Girls Swim and Dive Team and participated in French Quiz Bowl, Marching Band, Pep Band, Pit Band and National Honor Society. She plans to study chemistry. Lauren names two teachers who have had a positive impact on her academic success: “Mrs. (Lynn) Isenbarger taught the multi-age advanced classes at Hershey Elementary School. I remember always feeling really challenged in her class, and this really prepared me for middle and high school. Mr. (Scott) Powell taught me AP Bio last year, and AP Chem this year, and he always made class so incredibly fun. Both years I've had him as a teacher, a page of my notebook has been filled with quotes from him in class that make me laugh. Enjoying the class made learning so much easier, and it really helped cultivate my abilities in science.”

Caleb Weber participated on the Harrison Diving team, Marching Band, Pit Band, National Honor Society and Spanish Quiz Bowl. He plans to major in biology and music education. “Every teacher I have had at TSC works hard, trying to help their students succeed,” says Caleb. “But if I had to credit only one of my teachers, it would my fourth and fifth grade teacher at Klondike Elementary School, Mrs. (Carol) Goodrich. She pushed every student in her class to do their best and ensured that they had not only the knowledge to succeed later in school, but also the correct skill set.”