Fayette County Public Schools recognize National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A call to the principal's office ended in a good surprise for some Lexington students. It was to honor their achievements inside the classroom as dozens of them were named as National Merit semifinalists.

Today dozens of students were named as National Merit Semi-finalists. (WKYT)

45 Fayette County Public Schools students are being recognized for the achievement.

"We're seeking to put a spotlight on the excellence in academics," FCPS Superintendent Manny Caulk said.

Caulk surprised the semifinalists at Henry Clay and Bryan Station Monday morning. Although they had an idea something might happen.

"My mom said that there might be something today that I should look nice at school for," Bryan Station senior Madeline Farrar said.

But they weren't expecting that something to be a banner with their name on it, hanging with the athletic banners for all students to see.

"I guess there's a sense that the school sometimes cares more about athletics than academics, but this really brings it home that they don't," Semifinalist Eli Flomenhoft said. "They care about our academics, and they care that we succeed."

Farrar says it's a "really big deal" for her to have received the honor.

"For these students to get this recognition, they expected victory in the classroom," Caulk said. "We want more of our students to aspire and to be successful in the classroom."

The semifinalists should find out if they'll advance to a finalist standing some time in February.

About 7,500 students receive a Merit Scholarship each year. Each student is given a one-time $2,500 payment.