Two Franklin students earn academic honors from the College Board

Two Franklin High School students have received national College Board recognition for their academic performance.

Around 62,000 students nationwide earned academic honors through the College Board’s National Recognition Programs. Among them this year are Franklin seniors Mikah Ribble and Thaddeus Bergschneider.

The recognition can be submitted as part of college and scholarship applications to help students from underrepresented backgrounds stand out.

While the possibility was not at the front of her mind, Ribble is happy to have received such an honor, she said.

“I think it’s really cool that the College Board would reach out to students who are in smaller schools and do this,” she said. “Sometimes we don’t get the recognition because we’re tiny schools.”

Bergschneider said he is honored to have received the award, adding that students from smaller schools often do not get to take the same Advanced Placement and standardized test prep classes as those from larger schools.

The two were recognized for their performance on the PSAT, which Ribble said they took in October of their junior year. She scored in the 89th percentile, while Bergschneider scored 1,300 out of a possible 1,520 — after suffering a concussion two days prior.

“I hadn’t gone to the doctor yet so, in retrospect, I should’ve been in a dark room, secluded (and) doing nothing instead of taking a PSAT,” he said.

Despite the injury, Bergschneider had the school’s highest score on the test, Ribble said.

Bergschneider is planning to study agricultural economics with a law minor and is applying to schools such as the University of Illinois and Purdue University. Ribble hasn’t decided what she intends to study or where, but hopes to become a published author.

The two agreed the College Board recognition would help them, as well as other students from underrepresented backgrounds, stand out to admissions offices.

Ribble and Bergschneider advised students taking the PSAT in the future not to worry about what other students were doing during the test but to focus on their own efforts.

“You have to really pay attention with the PSAT, and you have to learn to adapt and trust yourself,” Ribble said.

The two also said it felt good to academically represent a town as small as Franklin.

“It does feel good to come out of a place no one’s ever heard of and tell them that we’ve got a great school, a lot of great teachers and great students here,” Bergschneider said.

The Journal-Courier is aware of at least two other students in west-central Illinois — Brooke Brannan of Jacksonville High School and Noah Thyer of Bunker Hill High School — who also have earned honors from the National Recognition Program, but the College Board was unable to provide a complete list of recipients from area schools.

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