Hayden Futch was notified by his high school principal Julie McManus that he received Commended National Merit status on the PSAT. About 34,000 students nationally are being recognized with this honor.

“This changes the game,” said Futch. “It’s another indicator that I need to continue to do what I need to do to put in the work.”

Commended students placed within the top 50,000 students who entered the competition by taking the 2022 PSAT test.

“Hayden Futch joins the long and prestigious list of National Merit Commended Scholars at Lufkin High School,” said Julie McManus, Lufkin High School principal. “We are proud of Hayden and his accomplishments through the PSAT as he joins the ranks with the top 2-3% of all students in the nation that took the PSAT in October of 2022. We look forward to the opportunities that will be offered to Hayden through his PSAT achievement.”

Futch is a senior and has aspirations to become a Computer Science Engineer.

“I feel I’m specifically competent at it. I enjoy problem solving and working with technology,” Futch said.

This past weekend Futch, who is team captain of the Computer Science UIL team, and his computer science team members competed at a UIL event at Seven Lakes High School coming in second place in the computer science category.

“I’m so proud of the team,” Futch said.

Along with UIL Computer Science, Futch is involved in an internship at Lockheed Martin, manager of the football team and on the Pantherbots Robotics Team.

When asked what teacher inspires him, his ready answer was Mr. Hungerford, Computer Science teacher at Lufkin High School.

“He’s willing to work with the students and do what they need to succeed,” said Futch. “He allows me to coach the UIL team and make decisions.”

For students who are wanting to achieve a national merit status, Futch recommends to study. He specifically studied online with Khan Academy, a free resource for students.

“Those being named Commended students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

Futch is still in the process of applying for colleges, but wants to attend a good engineering school so that he can continue to advance in computer science.