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NFA Senior, Ada Johnston, Semi-Finalist for National Merit Scholarship Program


Ada Johnston, 12th grade scholar at Newburgh Free Academy’s Main Campus is a semi-finalist for the National Merit Scholar program.

Aside from academic excellence, Ada is involved in a range of extra-curricular activities. Ada is part of the math club, is on the debate team, contributes to the Colonnade, an annual publication that collects written pieces from a range of NFA scholars, and is part of the stage crew for productions.

Ada is also a violinist, appreciating classical and more traditional pieces that are learned by ear, which includes old time tunes from colonial passed down from call and response play. Ada has been playing the violin since the 3rd grade.

Ada is also a very talented artist, but mainly focuses on art as a hobby. This summer, Ada attended the New York State Summer School of the Arts, a month-long program at SUNY Fredonia. Through that program, Ada studied and created 3D and 2D art. One class was based on sculpture and one was based on experimental landscape drawing/painting

Ada attended Horizons-on-the-Hudson and South Middle School before attending Newburgh Free Academy’s Main Campus. Ada’s guidance counselors throughout her time at NFA are Mr. Thomas Hill and Mrs. Melanie Roman.

Ada is interested in architecture and is considering that for a future major and career. She hopes to attend Columbia University.

Semi-Finalists are the highest scoring entrants in each state. The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. The  Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) serves as an initial screening process for 1.6 million applicants.

 Semi-Finalists find out if they advance as a Finalist in February.


TEACHERS: Are you and your students doing something great? Please contact your Communication Strategist. We’d love to attend or post your pictures and recap to highlight the amazing accomplishments throughout our district! Grades PreK-5 Amanda McDowell (amcdowell@necsd.net) and Grades 6-12 Cassie Sklarz (csklarz@necsd.net).



Ada poses with guidance counselor, Mr. Hill
Ada poses with guidance counselors Mr. Hill and Ms. Roman, principal Mr. Rodriguez, and assistant principal, Mr. Shust
Ada poses for a photo in front of school mascot photo.








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