Three named National Merit Semifinalists
Three named National Merit Semifinalists
Posted on 10/06/2017

Photo - Anna Klein Natalie Nachtsheim Katie GleasonThe National Merit Scholarship program has recognized three Henry Sibley High School seniors this year. The students were chosen from about 1.6 million students from 22,000 high schools nationwide who took the Preliminary National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Students with the highest test scores are recognized as Commended Scholars or Semifinalists.

Henry Sibley seniors Katie Gleason, Anna Klein and Natalie Nachtsheim have been named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists, putting them in the top one-percent of all U.S. high school seniors. Nearly 16,000 students with the highest test scores are named Semifinalists. In February, around 15,000 of the Semifinalists will be notified that they have advanced to the Finalist standing.

In addition, three seniors have been National Merit Commended Scholars. They are Gabriel Fromm, Max Gantman and Thomas Miranda. Watch for more information coming soon about these three outstanding students.

Last year, Henry Sibley had two students, Alex Nilles and Dan O’Reilly, who were named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship program. Alex is currently attending the University of Minnesota in the College of Science and Engineering Honor Program. Dan is a student at Yale University.


Photo - Katie GleasonName: Katie Gleason
Hometown: Mendota Heights
Parents: Brian Gleason and Mary Brehl
Post-Graduation plans: Study Human Rights or Political Science at college, potential leading to law school

Katie Gleason is a very active student, participating in a variety of extracurricular activities and completing numerous advanced classes. In fact, just this year she is enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) Language and Composition, Physics and Calculus. Katie is also taking College in the Schools (CIS) French at Henry Sibley through the University of Minnesota. 

“Sibley has provided me with challenging courses,” said Katie. “All of the language arts classes I’ve taken have been awesome. I learned a lot from them and I love that the teachers challenge me to think differently.”

Outside of class, throughout her years in high school, Katie has participated in Model United Nations (UN), ultimate frisbee and the band program. She is currently president of the Gender Equality Club, vice president of the Drama Club and secretary of Henry Sibley’s National Honor Society (NHS).

In her free time Katie works at the YMCA and pursues her passion for music.


Photo - Anna KleinName: Anna Klein
Hometown: Mendota Heights
Parents: Matt and Kristine Klein
Other District 197 Schools Attended: Somerset Elementary and Heritage E-STEM Magnet
Post-Graduation Plans: Attend college to pursue a degree in Biology or Marine Biology

Anna Klein hasn’t wasted a minute of her high school career and has worked to take advantage of all that Henry Sibley has to offer. Since 7th grade she has been a member of the high school Nordic Ski Team and has participated in Model UN. Last spring she was elected to serve as the President of the Anderson Assembly at the Minnesota Model UN Conference in April 2018. 

As a senior, Anna has been active in Pom Squad, National Honor Society and she is president of the Drama Club. She has been involved with the fall, winter and spring theater productions at Sibley for the past three years.

In addition to her co-curricular activities, Anna has challenged herself in several rigorous courses such as Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, World History, Studio Art, U.S. History, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, Physics Mechanics C and Language and Composition. She has also taken Concurrent Enrollment (CE) Spanish IV and V at Henry Sibley through Minnesota State University-Mankato.

Anna has earned three academic letters and credits her teachers for helping her succeed in high school. 

“I have been so lucky with teachers at Sibley,” said Anna. “Ms. (Sarah) Lund and Ms. (Susan) Brennan were especially caring and considerate as I learned to manage stress in high school. I also love Señor (Mark) Stewart and Profe (Robert) Hanson. For the last two years Spanish has been my first hour class and the absolute best way to start the day.”

Anna is active in the community as a volunteer with various groups, such as the Marine Team at Heritage E-STEM Magnet Middle School. She also works at the Eagan YMCA as a swim instructor.


Photo - Natalie NachtsheimName: Natalie Nachtsheim
Hometown: West St. Paul
Parents: Karen and Michael Nachtsheim
Other District 197 Schools Attended: Somerset Elementary and Heritage E-STEM Magnet
Post-Graduation Plans: Pursue a degree in Psychology at college

Natalie Nachtsheim has filled her high school years with the three A’s—Academics, Athletics and Activities. She has been a member of the Cross Country running, Nordic Ski and Track teams, as well as participated in Key Club, Gender Equality Club and Community Building Club. 

Natalie is currently the president of National Honor Society (NHS) and this fall she was a LINK Crew leader. Before she graduates, Natalie hopes to have been a part of nine Henry Sibley theater productions. She was in her first Sibley play as a freshman, performing as one of the wicked stepsisters in “Cinderella”.

“Sibley’s many clubs have helped me to figure out what I am passionate about and helped me create many meaningful relationships with my peers,” said Natalie.

When it comes to academics, Natalie says she likes classes that, “push me to question what I know and build my knowledge and skills.” 

Her list of challenging courses includes Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, World History, Psychology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, U.S. History, Psychology and Language and Composition. Natalie has also taken College in the Schools (CIS) Physics by Inquiry at Henry Sibley through the University of Minnesota and Concurrent Enrollment (CE) Spanish IV and V, also at Henry Sibley, through Minnesota State University-Mankato.

Outside of school, Natalie works as a tutor, is active in her church and volunteers at Somerset Elementary. She also works at Caribou Coffee.