JW Mitchell High School senior Ian Gibbons (my nephew) is now among the high school elite. Ian has recently been named a National Merit Finalist. This achievement, awarded through National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), is regarded as one of the most prestigious academic awards for high school students in the United States.
Ian was named a semifinalist when he scored in the top one percent of U.S. high school seniors on his PSAT exam in his junior year. He is one of only three Pasco County, Florida students to receive this distinction. A total of 15,000 finalists were selected based on their SAT scores, academic records, personal essays and community service work. From this group of finalists, many students will be awarded scholarships, and about half will be given the coveted title of National Merit Scholar.
At Mitchell High School, Ian has maintained a 4.0 GPA while juggling a heavy load of AP and Honors classes. He is Vice President of Scholarship for the National Honor Society, Secretary for the Spanish National Honor Society and a member of the National Art Honor Society. He volunteers his time for after school tutoring at the high school as well. He also works at the local Trinity Chick-fil-A part-time for extra spending money.
For the past three years, Ian has volunteered his Saturdays at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor as an animal caregiver. The Sanctuary is a shelter for great apes, monkeys, and other animals that have been abandoned by their owners. Ian chose to work at the sanctuary because, he says, â€œOriginally, I wanted to find a place to do community service in order to get my hours for Bright Futures. I stayed on after completing my hours because I realized it was a really good experience. And, I became attached to the animals.â€ He added, â€œThe best part is the everyday interaction with these fascinating, and sometimes very humanlike creatures.â€
Ian is the son of Joe and DeeDee Gibbons of Trinity, Florida. Joe is a Realtor with Lipply Real Estate. Originally from Fairfield CT, the Gibbons family put school choice high on their list when deciding where to call home. The Trinity area appealed to them due to the family atmosphere, newer homes, and good schools in the area.
Still undecided where he’ll be attending college next year, Ian is leaning towards psychology or philosophy as a major. The family is very proud of Ian and we know that whatever he does in his life he will be successful.