Frenship High senior commended by National Merit program

One could wonder when David Baker ever finds time to study.
Baker was honored last month as one of three Frenship High School seniors to receive a letter of commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Program. Students are honored because of their test scores on the Preliminary SAT test.
“If you ask me my favorite extracurricular, I’d have to say engineering,” Baker said Monday. “That and cross country. I’m not good at anything else (athletic) but I like to run.”
Baker ran cross country this fall and will run the one- and two-mile in track this spring. He’s also on the debate team and plays tuba in the band. This year he made all-region in band, but he made all-area as a freshman.
“In the past, I was a little bit more involved in band,” he said.
He also works part time at a movie theater, “so I see a lot of free movies,” he said.
Baker’s interests include his dog, Peanut; his girlfriend; running; biking; and reading, especially classics like Plato’s “Republic” and old philosophical books that still have some essential truths.
“Latin has helped with that sort of thing,” he said, noting he took three years while at FHS. In college at Texas A&M, he said he will probably take Spanish instead “for practicality.”
Baker plans to major in mechanical engineering, noting that he is really interested in all aspects of engineering.
“I know I want to do something with engineering. I’ve had some experience through engineering class,” he said. “If you get a degree in that, once you get out into the job sector, you have a little more freedom in choosing a job. … If I want to specialize later on, you don’t have to necessarily take more classes with the mechanical engineering degree.”
Baker said he likes engineering because it allows him to apply his knowledge from another of his interests: mathematics.
“I really like math. I’ve always been reasonably good at math. I’m one of those weird people that actually does it for fun. I actually do my calculus homework first, not to get it out of the way, but to take a break from other stuff. I love math,” Baker said.
Some people get discouraged when they have problems understanding math, but Baker said he enjoys a particularly difficult new concept because of the challenge of figuring it out.
As for being commended by the National Merit Scholarship Program, Baker said he was surprised, but very glad he was not the only one from Frenship.
“It’s always daunting to stand up in front of the school board by yourself. It’s nice that some fellow classmates also got the honor as well,” he said.
Fellow seniors Kaulie Lewis and Kathleen Walsh were also commended by the National Merit Scholarship Program and will be featured in upcoming editions of Frenship Today.

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