Gazebo Gazette

Long Beach High School seniors Jack Dean, IV, and Caleb Haber have been named National Merit Semifinalists.

Dean is the son of Danielle Powell (Glen) and Jack Dean III (Suzette). After high school, he plans to attend the University of South Alabama and pursue a computer engineering degree. His long-term goal is to become an accomplished computer engineer. He would like to go back to college and earn a bachelor’s degree in business and work hard enough to earn a leadership role in a major computer company. After he retires, he would like to work for a smaller company doing some simple work until he retires for a second time.

When asked how Long Beach prepared him for the future, Dean said the teachers and staff helped him plan.

“The teachers have helped me find a job that fits my interest through numerous interest cluster tests that identify jobs that I would enjoy. The staff has helped me with attending Collegiate Academy and making the transition into going to college much easier,” Dean said.

Haber is the son of Jennifer Rhodes and Michael Haber. After high school, he plans to travel and attend college.

“I have things I wish to do. I have ideas of where I want to take my life. I wish to travel for college, potentially internationally if I can,” Haber said. “While my time in Long Beach has been fun, I believe that to grow, I must leave and explore the world around me. I will always be grateful for the people I’ve met here and remember my time fondly.”

Haber’s long-term plans include studying internationally and eventually immigrating to another country. He wants to continue to grow and learn from other people around the world, believing that real knowledge, or wisdom, is a gift and the best way to gain that is to experience it himself. When asked how Long Beach prepared him for the future, Haber said he appreciated all his teachers and especially one who provided special guidance.

“Long Beach High School teachers and staff fostered an environment where I could explore myself and grow as a person.  While I enjoyed all my classes and appreciate all my teachers, I especially want to highlight my theatre teacher, Mrs. Carrie Bellew, who is always there for her students.  I do not think I would be the person I am today without her guidance.  She is always there for her students, and I hope one day that I can have the impact that she had on me.”

These Long Beach students were among the more than 16,000 Semifinalists named in the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s (NMSC) 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The nationwide pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. They will now continue to compete for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered in the spring of 2023.

High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.