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The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

2023-24 National Merit Scholar Semifinalists Named

Six students at MAST Academy were announced as College Board National Merit Scholar Semifinalists

During the 2023-2024 school year, seniors Edgar Batista, Carolina Busoli, Maria Claudino, Rafael Calderon, Thomas Green, and Franklin Zhuang were announced as 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists. 

“I never expected to get a perfect score, but I was definitely very happy at the end of the test,” Edgar Batista shared.

Batista studied for the PSAT using tools provided by his teacher, Mr. Eugene Cruz.

“I’m applying to MIT, Gorgia Tech, UF an I think that the Merit Scholar program will help me,” Batista said.

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Rafael Calderon stated that  “showing up and doing his best” allowed him to succeed. 

Thomas Green became a Semifinalist through an indirect path.

“I wasn’t directly studying for the PSAT, I was studying for the SAT, and that prepared me for the PSAT,” Green Said.

Sofia Busoli, on the other hand, credited her success to the Ray Dass program, which she diligently followed to prepare for the PSAT. Busoli’s impressive score of 1470 reflects her commitment to academic excellence. 

“I have a lot of schools I’m applying to but my top ones are Columbia, Northeastern, BU, and UF,” Busoli shared.

Conversely, Maria Claudino and Franklin Zhaung dedicated themselves to the Ray Dass program over the summer and their hard work paid off.

“I’m applying to a few schools in and out of state, but my target school is UF,” Claudino said.

These six exceptional students made Mast Academy proud and inspired their peers. The Merit Scholar Semifinalists’ diverse approaches to achieving their award illustrate there is no one path to success. Their dedication, hard work, and determination that have propelled them to reach their goals.


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About the Contributor
Mateo Zamora
Mateo Zamora, Staff Writer

Mateo Zamora is a freshman at MAST Academy. He is in his first year here at the school, coming from Henry S. West laboratory in 2023. Zamora thinks this school is a great place to learn and meet new people. 

Zamora likes MAST because he enjoys the school and all the teachers. He also enjoys world history, saying that it's his favorite subject. His least favorite subject is math, which “makes no sense.” 

Zamora comes from a long line of Guatemalan journalists who work to fight against corruption and unfairness in Central American countries. 

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