Becton’s Lee named ‘commended student’ by Nat’l Merit Scholarship Corp.


Ewan Lee, who ranks at the top of the Class of 2022, has earned the title of ‘commended student’ by the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Senior Ewan Lee has earned the distinguished honor of being recognized as a commended student by the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. A letter of commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC®), along with a certificate from Becton Regional High School’s Superintendent/Principal Dr. Sforza, has been presented to the senior who ranks at the top of his class.

Ewan found out that he qualified as an NMSC commended student when he checked his PSAT scores immediately following their release. “I was pleasantly surprised, but this was not completely unexpected as I was working to qualify for this achievement ever since I heard about it,” he said. “Qualifying [for this award] alone just showed me that hard work pays off.”

Commended scholars represent about 3-4% of students and about 34,000 students nationwide who score exceptionally high on the PSAT/NMSQT.

“I attribute my success on the PSAT on my desire to constantly improve and make progress in everything I do. When I took the test during my sophomore year, I found out that my score would not qualify me for the NMSC scholarship; therefore, I was motivated to improve my score. I immediately started to expand my knowledge doing anything I could to improve my test taking skills,” explained the high honor student.

Although commended students will not continue in the 2022 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, they placed among the top 50,000 scorers out of approximately one million students who entered the 2022 competition by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).

Ewan wants all future PSAT test takers at Becton to know that these tests are just a measure of how well one can take tests. “It is by no means a measure of intelligence because I know that there are plenty of people smarter than me who did not get a good score on the test,” he added.

Aside from being academically talented, the Class of 2022 student dominates the varsity football field, wrestling mat, and track team. At the same time, he is also a member of the Becton Debate Team, Math League, and Environmental Club. Last but certainly not least, he played a starring role in the school play, A Chorus Line, this past spring.
Ewan mentioned that the easiest part of the PSAT for him was ‘probably the math portion’ while he found the English section to be more of a challenge. “Math is always easier because there is only one answer that can be correct in every question. However, English has always been trickier because it is always up to the reader’s interpretation, and there are multiple answers within literature making it harder to pinpoint the one correct answer based on an excerpt.”

“I am extremely honored to qualify as an NMSC commended student,” said Ewan. “To anyone asking how I did it, I would just like to say, ‘Just keep struggling!’”