Saint James
Saint James School
Montgomery, Alabama

Honoring Achievement

Saint James School 2019 Fall Recognition Honorees. (Standing L-R): Ella Taylor, Gabe Robbins, Alexander Whisenhunt, Jack Branham, Turner Davis, Trevor Otis, Andrew Kellum, and Paige Hemmer. (Seated, L-R): Suhyoun Yun, Jihyun (Ellie) Kim, Katie Leigh Smith, Nayoon Kang, and Gayeon Paek. Not pictured: Sam Festoso and Najla Ibrahim.

On Wednesday, November 6th, Saint James School came together to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of several high school students. The students honored in the Saint James Fall Recognition Assembly achieved extraordinary excellence on national tests and exams in the past year. From National Merit recognition to perfect scores on Advanced Placement exams and sections of the ACT and SAT tests, these students are exemplars of what blending talent, effort, and drive can accomplish.

In September 2019, Saint James Senior Trevor Otis was named a National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist. This designation places Otis in the top 1% of the 1.6 million students nationally who took the qualifying exam last fall, the PSAT/NMSQT. Otis now participates in a process to advance semi-finalists to finalist status and subsequently compete for college scholarships that are announced in the spring. Additionally, Saint James Senior Andrew Kellum was named a National Merit Program Commended Student. This designation is given to the top 3% of the 1.6 million students nationally who took the PSAT/NMSQT exam.

Scoring a perfect score of 36 on a section of the ACT or SAT test (ie: English, Reading, Math, etc) were Saint James Juniors Paige Hemmer and Jihyun (Ellie) Kim, and Saint James Seniors Jack Branham, Turner Davis, Najla Ibrahim, Nayoon Kang, Andrew Kellum, and Trevor Otis. Notably, Paige Hemmer scored a perfect 36 on both the English and Reading ACT tests; Jack Branham scored a perfect 36 on both the Science and STEM ACT tests; and Turner Davis scored a perfect 36 on the Science ACT test twice.

Twelve students scored a perfect 5 on an Advanced Placement exam. These scholars included Paige Hemmer and Ella Taylor for AP European History; Trevor Otis for AP U.S. History; Turner Davis, Najla Ibrahim, and Trevor Otis for AP Language and Composition; Najla Ibrahim for AP Human Geography; Jack Branham, Gayeon Paek, and Suhyoun Yun for AB Calculus; Najla Ibrahim for AP Biology; and Gayeon Paek for AP Chemistry.

Eight students were honored by the College Board as AP Scholars – which means they earned an average grade of three or higher on three or more Advanced Placement exams. The AP Scholar designation was awarded to these eight students who are still in high school: Jack Branham, Sam Festoso, Trevor Otis, Gayeon Paek, Gabe Robbins, Katie Leigh Smith, Alexander Whisenhunt, and Suhyoun Yun. Saint James Senior Najla Ibrahim was named an AP Scholar with Honors after taking at least 4 AP exams with an overall average of 3.25 or higher. And, after taking the AP exams in May 2019, several 2019 Saint James alumni were also designated AP Scholars and three 2019 alumni who were named AP Scholars with Distinction for a total of 22 Saint James students named AP Scholars for 2019.

Annually, Saint James School hosts an Awards Day assembly in the spring to recognize a myriad of student achievements ranging from individual college scholarship announcements to the Yale Book Award to the highest average in a subject. And each fall, school administration honors each student individually who has achieved extraordinary excellence with national recognition. 

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