Tullahoma High School Students Zhang and Bennett named National Merit Finalists

TCS received exciting news as Franklin Zhang and Jacob Bennett were recently named National Merit Finalists.

“For both Franklin and Jacob to be named National Merit Finalists, it means that the Tullahoma High School tradition of excellence is continuing in the classroom,” said THS Principal Jason Quick. “These two have led our senior class academically and are setting the standard for those to follow.”

In August, the Tullahoma High School seniors were previously named National Merit Semifinalists. They are now two of 15,000 finalists nationwide notified recently about this honor.

“It’s a big honor to be named a finalist, and I’m happy that my hard work through school was recognized and for the opportunities this honor is going to give me,” Bennett said. “I’m very thankful that THS has given me the foundational knowledge to achieve this honor, and I think it’s great the school had two finalists this year.”

Both students are highly active in extracurricular activities at THS. Bennett is a member of the varsity football team and theater program. He additionally is a member of the student council, the National Honor Society, the National English Society and Mu Alpha Theta. He has also been involved in the Mayor’s Youth Council for three years.

Zhang is a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, involved with the Chess club and he is additionally the President of Mu Alpha Theta. He thanked his family and his teachers for helping him reach National Merit Finalist status.

“Being named a National Merit Finalist is a great honor and an incredible opportunity for a scholarship,” Zhang said. “The credit really goes to my family, teachers and everyone else who has helped and supported me through this journey.”

Both students plan to go on to study computer science in college. Zhang is undecided where he will be attending, but Bennett said he would be heading to the University of Alabama, where he wants to focus on software engineering.

“Tullahoma City Schools is so proud of Franklin and Jacob on this amazing accomplishment,” said TCS Director of Schools, Dr. Catherine Stephens. “This type of honor is a testament to the hard work, dedication and effort of both of these students. It is also a reflection of the many teachers who have made a lasting and positive impact on these outstanding students throughout their educational journey, as well as their parents who have supported and encouraged them.”

Later this month, 7,500 finalists will be notified that they are winners via email. Media announcements of the winners will be made by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation in April, May, June and July.

Photo provided: L-R Franklin Zhang, THS Principal Jason Quick and Jacob Bennett


Lucky Knott

Lucky Knott

One of Southern Tennessee's most experienced and recognized news broadcasters and play-by-play sportscasters. News and Sports Director for Rooster 101.5 FM, 93.9 The Duck and Whiskey Country 105.1, and 95.9. He is currently the play-by-play voice of the Coffee County Red Raiders (31 years) on The Rooster 101.5 and can be heard M-F broadcasting our local news. Lucky has done play-by-play for 4,002 (and counting) sports events on Radio & TV. He also served four years as the Public Information Officer for the Coffee Co. Sheriff's Dept. and taught Radio/TV for six years at Grundy County High School.

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