March 6, 2019

Cullen Gantenberg named National Merit Scholarship finalist


Cullen Gantenberg is moving on in a few short months, but not before leaving a notable legacy at Badin High School.

“I’ve enjoyed it,” said Gantenberg, a senior who has been named a finalist in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship program. “All the relationships I have developed here have been crucial to my development as a person. I wouldn’t trade my Badin experience for anything else.”

Gantenberg, the son of Nicholas and Julie Gantenberg of Liberty Township and a graduate of Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School, is now eligible for one of the 7,500 scholarships worth $31 million that the National Merit Scholarship Corp. will award.

“I’m excited and happy,” to be named a National Merit finalist, Gantenberg said. “A lot of hard work has paid off.”

Gantenberg was one of 16,000 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists announced in the fall based on his performance on the qualifying test taken during his junior year at Badin. That number represented less than 1 percent of the high school seniors in the country. Some 90 percent of the semifinalists have now been named National Merit finalists.

“Cullen Gantenberg is the real deal,” said Mrs. Angela Bucheit, Gantenberg’s guidance counselor at Badin. “On paper, he looks great – straight A’s, a challenging curriculum, and excellent test scores. Cullen also delivers in person. In my 20 years in education, I have never met a student more passionate about learning.”

Gantenberg spent four years on the Badin swim team, is president of the National Honor Society, and also a member of the Scholar Leader Academy and the JETS (Junior Engineering Technical Society) team at BHS.

He plans to major in physics in college with an eye to research and teaching at the university level. He has been admitted to Ohio State, Purdue and the University of Cincinnati, and has an impressive list of potential colleges he will hear from later this month – Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, the University of Chicago, Duke and Michigan.

“I’m looking forward to the freedom to be able to plan my own day outside of the classes,” Gantenberg said of his college future. “I’m excited for the independence and the diversity of opportunities available wherever I go – academics, athletics, and fun.”

Gantenberg’s success means that Badin High School has now had six National Merit Scholarship finalists and 10 National Merit Scholarship “Commended Students” in the last four years. The National Merit Scholarship program was established in 1955 with the goal of “honoring the nation’s scholarship champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.”

Contact: Dirk Q. Allen, (513) 863-3993, ext. 120; Dallen@BadinHS.org

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