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Cole Salvador '22 wins national academic award

Winning academic awards is hard.

Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Cole Salvador ’22 makes it look easy.

After earning a National Hispanic Merit Scholar Award, Cole received a Letter of Commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation based on his Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) performance.

Cole was recognized for his achievement during School Meeting Feb. 28. The top 50,000 scorers for the nationwide test receive an award.


Cole on taking tests: “I like tests insofar as they give me an opportunity to see what I really know. I think standardized tests give me an opportunity to see what I know on a larger scale than just school, so in that way I like them. Regardless, I sort of think the PSAT and SAT are not so effective as a way to assess students’ college readiness and that’s why colleges are caring less and less about them.” 

Cole on receiving the Letter of Commendation: “I knew that I was going to receive the National Hispanic Merit Scholar Award for a while, and received a diploma for that in 2021. I had no idea about the Letter of Commendation until Mr. (Brian) Easler called me up to the podium. I was glad because I got to shake his hand; he gives good handshakes.”

Cole on how WMA has prepared him academically: “I think having taken more advanced math classes up through precalculus in my sophomore year when I took the PSAT helped me a lot on the math section, even though it only goes through Algebra 2. Also, taking ninth grade English with Mr. (Tim) Harrington ’73 got me thinking a lot about how language worked, which helped me a lot on the writing and reading sections.”

Mr. Tim Harrington regarding Cole as a student: "I congratulate Cole on his recognition by the National Merit Scholar program. I have taught Cole two out of his four years of high school English at WMA and, frankly, it would have been more surprising to me if he hadn't received some kind of recognition given his academic performance over the years here, particularly his performance on the AP exams. To me, the most remarkable thing about Cole's academic achievements is that he doesn't really focus on grades, and he is embarrassed when anyone publicly recognizes his high-level work. He just wants to learn and wants to challenge himself. I am very proud of him.” 

Dr. Anthony Kandel regarding Cole’s academic abilities: “Cole is a natural academic talent, excelling in all areas of his studies. He writes with ease and sophistication, reads voraciously, and has the capacity to comprehend even the most complex ideas. He is a true scholar.”


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