Vanguard College Preparatory School senior Noah Fau has been named a Commended Student in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2020 competition by taking the 2019 PSAT/NMSQT.
Noah is the son of Jim and Emily Fau. He has studied at Vanguard since the seventh grade.
“Noah has kept the tradition alive at Vanguard of having students recognized every year by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation,” said Head of School Bill Borg. “In my 13 years here, we have recognized 50 students as finalists, commended, or Hispanic scholars. At a small school, those numbers are astounding.”
Fau said his favorite subjects so far have been mathematics and chemistry.
“Math has always come naturally to me, and chemistry allowed me to put my math skills to a more concrete use,” he said. “In both math and chemistry, you have to manipulate variables in order to complete your objective, so that problem-solving aspect has always appealed to me.”
Taking three years of chemistry under Zach Seifert has greatly impacted Fau’s high school experience, he said.
“Chemistry, and AP Chemistry specifically, is a notoriously difficult subject,” Noah said, “but the way that Coach taught it made chemistry not only easy to learn, but also an enjoyable experience.”
In terms of extracurriculars, basketball has always been a passion of Fau’s.
Vanguard teachers have helped him to grow into a dedicated student, Fau said.
“In middle school, I was naturally gifted enough to get by in my classes without trying, but I put little to no effort into my schoolwork,” Fau said. “But in high school, the academic rigor of Vanguard has turned me into a much better student. The increased volume of papers I’ve had to write in Mrs. [Jennifer] Ferretter’s classes and the ridiculously difficult tests in AP Chem and AP Calculus have made me develop much better drive and effort in the classroom.”
Fau said he’s hoping to study chemical engineering in college.