Oct. 23, 2020
Timothy Archey is as normal of a teenager as any other senior at Adair County High School. He is a friendly, easy-going, young adult that enjoys his friends and loves texting on his phone.
But Archey has accomplished something only one other ACHS student has ever done in the history of the school. Archey, the son of Stephanie and Mark Archey, is a 2021 National Merit semifinalist.
“I love learning things and I always try to learn more,” Timothy said. “(Some students do only) what’s necessary to get by in high school. I try to really understand all the topics that I learn and really dive into that.”
“He was named a National Merit Semi-Finalist because of his outstanding PSAT scores,” said ACHS guidance counselor Ann Young. “We are very proud of his accomplishments. In my 21 years as guidance counselor there has been one other young man to compete as a National Merit Semi-Finalist.”
“Being named a national merit semifinalist is a great honor. I am excited and it has kind of settled on me. However, I want to be able to go on to the next step of the process. There is still more to the competition,” said Timothy.
The importance of learning has been stressed to Archey since the beginning of his education in a homeschool setting. His father has a background in industrial engineering, while his mother has a master’s degree in chemical engineering. Stephanie currently teaches at Lindsey Wilson College.
“We’ve always tried to give Timothy as many learning opportunities as possible, even if they’re not presented as learning opportunities,” Mark said. “We traveled a lot when he was younger, and there was a lot of accidental learning along the way. We value education very highly in our family.”
A total of 16,000 semifinalists will be competing for some 7,600 merit scholarships worth more than $30 million. A total of 1.5 million juniors applied for the honor. To become a finalist, applicants must submit a detailed application.
Those advancing to the finalist level will be notified of their designation in February. Scholar designates will be chosen from a group of categories to include skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
“I have been looking at colleges and the top college I want to go to now is Stanford,” Timothy said. “But I am also looking into another college, maybe the University of Kentucky. I would prefer to go into biology and eventually into etymology. I have always had an interest in insects and want to do something with them in the future.”
In addition to his strong academic background, Timothy spends a lot of time working with his bee colony. He also has an ant farm, and really enjoys playing steel drums.
“One of the things people tend to overlook (about doing well on standardized tests) is the need to practice taking them,” Timothy said. “A lot of people go in cold, and they get scores that are okay. However, if they just practice taking the test a couple of times before they can greatly improve their scores. Not only practicing the test, but looking at what you got wrong and learning why you got it wrong is important. That can help you keep from making that mistake again.”
By Scott Wilson