Reynoldsburg High School senior Nick Elliott has been named a National Merit Scholarship finalist.

Reynoldsburg High School senior Nick Elliott has been named a National Merit Scholarship finalist.

Donna Miracle, Elliott's student counselor, said to become a finalist, a student must maintain an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm his or her earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Miracle said Elliott has continued to push for excellence in whatever he has done at RHS, challenging himself with rigorous courses and completing them successfully.

"He's No. 1 in the class here out of 413 kids, and we've got lots of bright kids, lots at the top, but he is No. 1," Miracle said.

Elliott, son of Lisa and Brian Elliott, said in September when he learned he had been chosen as a semifinalist that he was considering The Ohio State University, Cornell University or possibly MIT as his college choice.

The list has since narrowed to Ohio State and the University of Alabama.

He has always been interested in math and science but said his main focus of study in college will most likely be in some type of engineering, possibly chemical engineering.

Elliott's father said one big factor in considering the University of Alabama was the school offered his son a full scholarship worth $130,000.

"Being a finalist opens up a lot of opportunities with colleges," Brian Elliott said. "We're proud because he's a National Merit finalist but we're also proud his academic achievement is being recognized. You hear about athletes getting scholarships, but you don't hear a lot about smart kids getting scholarships."

Nick Elliott began playing the cello in the fifth grade and has played in the school orchestra for the past eight years. He is also a member of the high school soccer team and the LEO Club, a community service organization affiliated with the Reynoldsburg Lions Club.

He said his years at RHS have been good ones and said his favorite teachers include Algebra II teacher Cathy Macioce, history teacher Gina Daniels, as well as student counselor Donna Miracle.

The Reynoldsburg Board of Education honored Elliott during its April 19 meeting, presenting him with a certificate of recognition.

Superintendent Steve Dackin also congratulated Elliott on his achievement and his success in meeting high expectations.