Blaine senior is national merit finalist
Kieran Lyons, an 18-year-old senior at Blaine high school, is the eighth and latest member of an exclusive group of Blaine students who have been named national merit scholarship finalists over the past 34 years. A prestigious honor given to less than one percent of graduating seniors nationwide, the award is based on test results on both the preliminary scholastic aptitude test (PSAT) and the national merit scholarship qualifying test (NMSQT) administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation of Chicago.
Lyons spent five years in Bolivia shortly before coming to Blaine in 2005 for his sophomore year. “I wanted to come back to the US, but it was also strange to come into a school where everyone knew each other,” Lyons said. “I like it, but there needs to be more things for kids my age to do here outside of class.” Once an active soccer player and track athlete, he’s left those pursuits due to an academic load of four advanced placement courses each of the last two years.
The son of Leigh and Jean Lyons of Point Whitehorn, he’s the oldest of three boys, along with younger brothers Avery, a sophomore at Blaine high school, and Liam, a second grader at Blaine primary. Born in Houston, Lyons’ family moved frequently as his father’s energy and management consulting business took them as far as Argentina and Bolivia. Summers are spent aboard their Carver 29 “Tartaruga,” which means sea turtle in Portuguese.
Lyons said his favorite classes have been with art teacher Brian Smith, English teacher Jeff Worthy and math and computer science teacher Mike Shappell. He’s applied to Harvard, his first choice, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, the University of Washington honors college and Rice in Houston, where his grandfather earned a PH.D. in physics.
About 16,000 high school juniors are named semi-finalists nationally every year and are invited to apply to become part of the pool of finalists from which award recipients, called National Merit Scholars, are chosen.