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Zachary Channen '22, National Merit® Finalist, Ivy League Bound

Zachary Channen '22, National Merit® Finalist, Ivy League Bound

Congratulations to Zachary Channen '22, who has been named a Finalist in the 2022 National Merit® Scholarship Program competition!

Zachary has had an exciting few weeks. In addition to being named a Finalist, he also received his acceptances to Harvard University and Dartmouth College.

Zachary is a leader inside and outside of the classroom through his involvement in student activities and as captain of the Raider Boys Tennis Team.

Zachary, who was named a National Merit Semifinalist last fall, is now in competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered this spring. Finalists are officially announced starting in April 2022. Approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit® Scholar title.

"Central Catholic excels at promoting a school-life balance," said Zachary. "While CCHS offers a great college prep experience, it also features a wide variety of sports, clubs, and activities with something for everyone."

After graduating from CCHS in May 2022, Zachary plans to major in Economics with a focus on government policy, and he has been accepted to several colleges and universities in the Northeast.

Zachary Channen '22 with Mrs. Doreen Keller, Principal

Above: CCHS Principal, Mrs. Doreen Keller '71PMA, with Zachary.

"The entire Central Catholic community is incredibly proud of Zachary advancing as a Finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Competition," said Mrs. Doreen Keller '71PMA, Central Catholic Principal.

"We anticipate Zachary doing amazing things in the future, and he is a great representation of the mission and spirit of CCHS!”

Zachary Channen '22 gets ready to serve in tennis

About Zachary Channen '22

  • Hometown: Methuen
  • Middle School: Comprehensive Grammar School


  • Varsity Tennis (Captain)
  • DECA (Vice President)
  • Student Alumni Association (E-Board Member)
  • Student Ambassadors
  • National Honor Society
  • In-House Math Club
  • Youth Tennis Instructor, Cedardale Health and Fitness


Zachary also makes time to serve the community, such as tutoring and mentoring students at Lawrence Catholic Academy and making Christmas cards for 160 nursing home residents during the pandemic.

A Raider Legacy

Zachary's grandfather, Ed Schroeder '58, is a Central Catholic graduate. 

The Future

"My plan is to major in economics, with a focus on government policy. So far, I have been accepted into Northeastern University, Boston University, Boston College, UMass Amherst, Harvard University, and Dartmouth College."

The Impact and Support of CCHS

"Central Catholic excels at promoting a school-life balance," said Zachary. "While CCHS offers a great college prep experience, it also features a wide variety of sports, clubs, and activities with something for everyone."

Zachary attributes some of his success to a supportive faculty, including Mr. Matthew Sansoucie '06, a Mathematics Teacher, coach, and moderator.

"On Freshmen Day at Camp Marist, I met the man who became my mentor for the past four years. Mr. Sansoucie has played a huge role in my high school journey over the last four years. I have been fortunate to have him as a teacher, tennis coach, and club moderator, and he consistently encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone. I credit much of my extracurricular success to his support and motivation."

"He is the moderator for DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) and the Math Club. He taught my AP Macroeconomics class last year and has provided me with great support in and out of the classroom. No one cheered louder than Mr. Sansoucie when I won my district event for DECA in its inaugural year!"

"His encouragement and dedication to the success of his students, both academically and personally, has impacted not only my life but many of my peers as well. I know when I reflect back on my time at Central Catholic, some of my favorite memories will involve Mr. Sansoucie."

Mr. Matthew Sansoucie '06

From Mr. Sansoucie

"Zach is one of the most intelligent and well rounded people I have had the pleasure to come across in my time as a teacher," states Mr. Sansoucie. "Having had the privilege of teaching, coaching, and moderating Zach these past three years, I have witnessed him have so many great successes first-hand in academics, athletics, and extra-curriculars, yet the attributes that stand out the most to me are his kindness and humility."

"Zach is the type of person that puts everyone else at ease by treating everyone equally and truly caring about their successes. It's also clear that he always puts others first and always brings out the best in everyone."

"Zach truly has all the attributes of a great leader."


National Merit Scholarship Program logo

More About Becoming a National Merit Finalist

To be considered for a Merit® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 95% of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit® Scholar title.

Steps in the 2022 Competition

High school juniors entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalists and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalists academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, wrote an essay, and earn SAT® and ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic, origin, or religious preference.

More on National Merit Scholarships

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2022. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2,500 scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2022 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 362,000 other distinguished young people who earned the Merit Scholar title.

Zachary Channen '22 at the tennis

Congratulations to Zachary on his accomplishments and this impressive achievement!

Central Catholic High School
A College Preparatory High School of Excellence in the Marist Tradition

Founded by the Marist Brothers in the heart of Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1935, Central Catholic High School enrolls 1,200 students from over 60 cities and towns and several countries. Students come from diverse backgrounds to form a caring community of faith, learning, and service. They advance to college in overwhelming numbers (nearly 100%) and move on to successful careers and positions of leadership in government, business, industry, academia, and professions.

Central Catholic High School is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

For more information, please visit, call 978-682-0260, or email

Mission: Central Catholic High School makes Jesus known and loved.
We educate the whole person for college and for life, with particular care for the least favored and those in need.