By Eric Erickson
National Merit Scholarship semifinalists
Como Park seniors Sophie Warner and Kai Sackreiter have earned the prestigious honor of becoming National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.
With elite academic credentials and exceptional scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test, Warner and Sackreiter achieved recognition obtained by less than 1% of high school students across the nation.
The two Como classmates will pursue finalist status and hope to win National Merit Scholarship awards. To do so, they must fulfill several requirements, including submitting a detailed scholarship application with recommendations and an original essay.
Beyond her academic prowess, Warner competes in three sports plus the robotics team. She also serves as a lifeguard and ski instructor and works at the Hiway Credit Union.
Her ambitious coursework has involved PSEO (Post-Secondary Enrollment Options) at St. Paul College and the University of Minnesota in addition to multiple Advanced Placement classes at Como. Warner will achieve an Associate of Arts degree at the same time she graduates from Como next spring.
Sackreiter is an AP scholar with distinction who has already earned the highest possible score on six different AP exams. He’s continuing AP courses this year at Como while also taking PSEO college classes.
Sackreiter is a year-round swimmer who has qualified for the state meet three times and aims to make it four when he serves as a captain for the Cougars this upcoming winter. His dedication to the pool has carried over into lifeguarding and also serving as a student manager for the Como girls’ team, which allows him to help coach.
Beyond swimming, Sackreiter is an accomplished and award-winning piano player. And as a side project, he produced a website with peers that qualified for National History Day.
After uncertainty about funding and production last fall, Como came through with a 2023 yearbook that sold nearly 200 copies.
Como teacher Jonah Fields stepped up to facilitate a yearbook class and negotiated with a new vendor to receive a more affordable price. Concerned students and parents were relieved.
This year, Fields’ yearbook class has 20 students already working on the 2024 edition.
Last year’s yearbook received good reviews, which has led to strong early sales this fall with many seniors locking in the low rate of $40 that was available through homecoming weekend. The traditional high school yearbook lives on!
Eric Erickson is a social studies teacher at Como Park Senior High School and a regular freelance writer for the Bugle.
Photo cutline: Como Park seniors Kai Sackreiter and Sophie Warner are National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. Photo by Eric Erickson