Senior Shiloh Beeler Is National Merit Finalist


Photo credit Anastasia Reimann.

Anastasia Reimann, Editor in Chief

As a transfer student from Arkansas, senior Shiloh Beeler has only attended Classical Academy High School for several months. However, this has not hindered his performance on campus; with a PSAT score of 1490, Beeler is one of only two CAHS seniors to receive National Merit Finalist status.

With a 3.95 unweighted GPA, Beeler has a strong academic record, but he wasn’t always driven to excel in his studies. “The first two years, in general, I was unmotivated … [and] not a social person at all.”

For high school, Beeler had moved back to Arkansas after living in South Africa for approximately 5.5 years with his family. “I don’t know if it was just the whole ‘Hey, I just moved here from South Africa and I have no clue what I’m doing,’ or if it was the whole, ‘Haha, I don’t care about school or anything at all,’” he said, “but luckily I’m past that [lack of motivation.]” In his junior year, Beeler “started doing really awesome,” but wishes he would have grown more involved in his academic life.

“I just wish that I had been able to take advantage of what my school offered in terms of clubs and AP classes and socializing … for the first two years, because that makes a really big difference … more importantly in personal life, but very much so on transcripts, where my 3.95 could have been a 4.0 and probably should have been, because I am fully capable of getting an A in everything. But I didn’t, so that’s OK.”

Beeler credits his high PSAT score and Finalist status to his test location. While Beeler received his test results as a California student, his score reflects his achievement as an Arkansas National Merit Finalist. “They don’t care where you live now — they care where you took your test. So, in California, I would still be a Finalist. However, because I took [the PSAT] in Arkansas, I’m way above the cutoff line [for National Merit qualification].”    

Before moving to California, Beeler participated in a plethora of clubs and extracurricular activities, including speech and debate (called “forensics” at his former high school); Arkansas Model United Nations, for which he won first place for speaking in the International Court of Justice; National Honors Society; Scholar Council (similar to ASB at CAHS) and “‘Young Adult Literature Club,” which Beeler affectionately refers to as “‘Harry Potter’ club.”

“I was a prefect of Ravenclaw, and every year we would just go through the books and do reading groups, and every group would make presentations on the different chapters that we’d read,” he said. “Then we would do the House Cup, and we’d have different competitions …  It was awesome.”

Beeler has also published several articles in his former high school’s Pacemaker-winning literary magazine.

When asked about advice for other students seeking academic success, Beeler was quick to reply. “As someone who for a long time did not study for … standardized tests, [I would say that] even if you’re doing better than other people, you’re not doing as good as you can be, unless you’re actually actively putting in that effort to study and reach your full potential.

“It’s not about how smart you are; it’s about how hard you work … That sounds so much like a cliché, and I hated that cliché, but then I discovered, ‘Hey, wait a second — it’s actually true.’ … That is my one piece of advice. Put in effort.”