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Normandy senior Nathan Culmer named National Merit Semifinalist

NHS senior Nathan Culmer

October 7, 2019


Nathan Culmer has achieved a title no other Class of 2020 senior in the Parma City School District can claim – 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist.


This sharp Normandy High School senior joins an elite class of about 16,000 students nationwide, selected from 1.5 million students who entered the program. This represents the top one percent of the country’s brightest high school seniors, which includes the highest scoring students from each state on the 2019 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

“It feels pretty good,” Culmer expressed on being named a semifinalist. “There’s only 16,000 of us in the whole country who made it to this stage. It’s exciting.”

Boasting a 4.3 GPA and a full schedule of five Advanced Placement (AP) classes, Culmer said his drive to do well in school comes from knowing the hard work will pay off.

“It feels good to do well and I feel rewarded for having good grades and getting good scores on these tests,” he described. “And it’s important to succeed. It gives you opportunities in life that you wouldn’t get otherwise. Scholarships are great and can help me get into a better college, which is important to having a good career.”


Culmer is currently undecided on where he would like to attend college, but would like to stay local. He is looking into Case Western Reserve University and University of Akron. He is also not sure about a major yet, but is thinking about studying computer programming.

History and Spanish are two areas of interest for Culmer as well, sharing they are currently his favorite subjects in school.

“History I find really interesting, especially hearing the stories of the past and how it applies to current day in certain parallels,” he expressed. “Spanish, honestly I don’t know why I find it so interesting, but I just do. I like learning the language.”

Intelligence runs in the family, too. Culmer, who has a twin brother, Owen, shared that they both were in the running to be semifinalists, but only he was selected.


“Owen technically did slightly better than me on the SAT, so he still has something on me,” he said with a laugh.

Culmer just recently joined Key Club at Normandy with his brother, and also has a passion for playing video games.

“Nathan is very humble and a quiet leader,” Rachel Urban, principal at Normandy High School, described. “Earning this recognition shows his dedication to academics. We are so proud of him.”

Culmer’s mother Melissa, who also works at Normandy, said both her sons take pride in their school work and are very dedicated to their academics. She is extremely proud of them.

“They are both self-starters, responsible, kind, caring and go above and beyond,” she expressed. “They help students out in their classes and study halls. They are just great kids.”

Culmer will find out in February if he is named a finalist. About 90 percent of semifinalists will become finalists and about half of the finalists will win a scholarship and become National Merit Scholars.


PHOTO CAPTION:  Nathan Culmer, a senior at Normandy, was selected as one of 16,000 students nationwide as a National Merit Semifinalist.