KHS senior named National Merit Finalist

“It’s a really big honor, and I hope I made them (friends and family) proud.” 
Elliot Felton

“It’s a really big honor, and I hope I made them (friends and family) proud.” Elliot Felton

KINGMAN - Elliot Felton doesn't want to brag, which is hard because the Kingman High senior is proud to be in the top 1 percent of students in the nation.

In February, Felton was named a National Merit Scholarship Program Finalist along with 15,000 other high school seniors.

Felton said being named a finalist validated the time he spent studying and the faith his family and friends had in him.

"It's a really big honor, and I hope I made them proud," Felton said.

Like 1.5 million other high school juniors, Felton took the Preliminary SAT. The test prepares students for the SAT and projects their scores. For Felton, his 210 PSAT score would equal a 2,100 SAT score.

"It's kind of funny because that's what I got both times, a 2,100," he said.

In 2007 and 2008, Felton took the SAT - earning the same score on both. He took the test twice because he wanted to kill time while waiting for a friend that he had driven to the test site to complete the SAT.

On each of the tests, Felton said he didn't take any specific classes or studies in preparation. He added he has an inquisitive mind. "I'll Google something or use the Internet for research," Felton said.

For KHS, Felton is the only student to be named a finalist in the past two years, guidance counselor Anne Bathauer said.

"Elliot is an outstanding student academically," she said.

"He works hard."

While there has been no formal announcement at school, the 17-year-old said the word has gotten around at campus mainly by his father, Richard Felton, who teaches at KHS.

"I've had various people knowing random facts about me all throughout my life," Felton said. "I came from a small town in Oregon and my dad is a teacher."

While his father has been spreading the word at school about his recent academic accomplishment, Felton said his mother spread the word among his family. "She called all the relatives we had," Felton said. "She had tears of joy."

Felton said he plans on going to Yale to obtain his bachelor's degree. He chose the university because of its prestige in preparing students for medical school. Felton said he would use the education to become an orthopedic surgeon.

Another feature of the university Felton found appealing was freshmen housing. Students are sorted at random like the Harry Potter series of books and films, he said.

As far as moving away from Kingman, Felton said he doesn't anticipate having any problems. He had moved from Oregon to Kingman his freshman year of high school.

Felton said he plans on continuing his academic success at Yale, maintaining his current study habits. He added he plans on continuing his interest in acting and a variety of extracurricular activities.

At KHS, Felton has been involved in Future Business Leaders of America, Drama Club, National Honors Society and Health Occupation Students of America.

Now Felton will wait and see if he'll receive the $2,500 Merit Scholarship. The winners are chosen from the finalist group based on their academic record, information about the school's curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, school official's written recommendation, information about the student's activities and leadership, and their essay.