Online student a National Merit finalist

Nathan Edelmann is just days away from finding out if he’s a National Merit Scholarship winner. The 17-year-old Idaho Virtual Academy senior is a finalist and proud of the achievement.

“Junior year I took the preliminary SAT and that’s what qualifies you for the National Merit scholarship competition. It’s such an honor to be recognized for this scholarship,” Nathan said.

Nathan holds a 4.5 grade-point average and juggles six online classes including Advanced Placement calculus and Honors College physics.

“I work on my academics and participate in extra curricular activities from the moment I get up in the morning until the time I go to bed,” Nathan said.

Robert Vialpando has been Nathan’s math teacher for three years and he wasn’t surprised when he heard Nathan was named a finalist.

“Nathan is someone who has an extremely high moral character and is very intelligent,” Vialpando said. “I’m looking forward to what he blossoms into in the coming years.”

Nathan stays active outside of school work participating in the Leadership Boise Academy, Idaho Science and aerospace scholars, and in the eighth grade he took part in a K-12 International Spelling Bee.

When he isn’t studying he’s playing the violin.

“I used to compete in fiddle contests but now I play as a hobby and it’s really nice because it’s a way to wine down at the end of the day,” Nathan said.

When he graduates in June he isn’t packing up his bags and moving away to college. He’s taking a year off from school to figure out what’s next in life.

“During my time off I’m going to apply to UC Santa Barbara, Dartmouth College, University of Rochester, Yale University and Duke University,” Nathan said.

He wants to study material science and become an engineer, but also has a dream of becoming an actor and movie director.

“If I knew I could succeed at anything I would do acting, that is something I would really enjoy,” he said. “I want to be an engineer in the aerospace field, this is something I have a passion for.”

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