Merrimack High School’s top 10 seniors for 2019

No. 1. Sophia Kim: Sophie Kim is the valedictorian of Merrimack High School’s class of 2019. She is the daughter of Maggie Kim and Brad Stull. Sophie has a brother named Elias, who graduated from MHS in 2012, and a schnoodle named Hazel.

Sophie took a wide range of classes throughout her four years of high school, including eight AP and many honors courses. Two of her favorite subjects are math and Spanish.

Sophie ran on the cross country and track and field teams for four years. She was a captain of the cross country team her senior year. Sophie also played oboe in the band for four years, and was a section leader for three. She was selected for the NH All-State festival three times, and served as the principal oboist of the All-State Orchestra her senior year. Sophie was a member of quiz bowl for three years and the Granite State Challenge team for two. She was inducted into the National Honor Society and the National Math Honor Society, and has volunteered in the Children’s Room of the Merrimack Public Library.

As a ninth grader, Sophie won the Outstanding NH Senior Entry award at the National History Day national competition, and finished eighth overall in the senior individual website category. She has received a number of honors at MHS, including Academic Excellence awards in Math, Spanish, and U.S. History. She is a National Merit Scholarship winner.

Sophie enjoys hiking, kayaking, skiing, and watching soccer. She will attend Harvard College in the fall.

No. 2 Abigail Schaefer

I’m Abbie Schaefer, and I would like to thank my parents, Jen and Carl Schaefer, and my amazing sister, Clara Schaefer, for all the support they have given me as I have discovered how to read, to write, and to appreciate the importance of learning for its own sake. After years of early mornings, late nights (though never any all-nighters), and more note-taking than I care to remember, I am honored to be ranked second in such a talented senior class.

Over the course of my time at Merrimack High School, I have been recognized at the National History Day finals, received awards in math and English, and recited French poetry in a regional competition in Hanover, NH. However, I have found my greatest joy in music, playing clarinet in the school marching and concert bands, the All-State band and chamber groups, the Solo & Ensemble Festival, the University of New Hampshire’s Summer Youth Music School program, and in pit orchestras playing shows from My Fair Lady to Aida. Being a part of these things has been wonderful, but I am equally proud of myself for discovering that: 1) I am incapable of writing essays that actually fit beneath the maximum word limit on my first try, 2) I can survive four years of band camp and after school rehearsal without drinking any water, and 3) I can make it through high school without once using my locker by carrying a backpack that weighs almost as much as I do.

Although I have no idea what I want to study in my future, I will be attending Dartmouth College by this time next year. I look forward to staying in contact with my incredible friends from high school, planning a trip to Norway, and enjoying my first project-free summer in four years.

No. 3 Sarah Heimberg

Sarah Heimberg, third in the graduating class of 2019, is an avid trumpet player. She won second place at the National Trumpet Competition, and was a featured soloist with the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra and Portsmouth Symphony, and will be a featured soloist with the Nashua Chamber Orchestra in June. In addition to being an active participant in the Merrimack Music program, Sarah played principal trumpet with the New Hampshire All-State Orchestra, the All-Eastern Orchestra, as well as playing in the New Hampshire Youth Jazz Ensemble and the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. She also founded the Karner Blue Brass Quintet, which will perform at her senior recital in May. During summers, she attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and the Atlantic Brass Quintet Seminar. 

At school, Sarah participated in Quiz Bowl, National Honors Society, and won the Creative Writing Award, as well as the performance category at National History Day States. She is also a Gold Award Girl Scout, and a Merrimack Safeguard Student Representative. Sarah is very excited to be attending the New England Conservatory of Music in the fall to study trumpet performance under the tutelage of Benjamin Wright.  She would like to thank her parents, teachers, and friends for their constant inspiration and support.  Sarah is also grateful to Shostakovich, Mahler, and Copland for their compositions, which helped her through late night homework. 

No. 4 Andrew Pitten

Throughout his four years at MHS, Andrew Pitten cultivated an interest in a wide range of disciplines. His supportive family emphasized the importance of education, which led him to partake in a number of academic pursuits, namely Science Olympiad. As captain, Pitten won several medals from competitions such as MIT, Harvard, and Dartmouth. In addition to the natural sciences, Pitten is also keen about the social sciences and humanities. Outside the classroom, Pitten enjoys playing basketball and tennis to stay active. Next year, Pitten will attend Boston College to study economics, and hopes to pursue a career in the financial sector.

No. 5 Nathan Liscouski

Nate Liscouski is the son of Jeff and Lee Liscouski who reside in Merrimack. He is ranked fifth in the senior class.

Consistent selection of Honors Level courses as well as his Rank and GPA distinguishes Nate as one of the top achievers in the Senior Class. Throughout his four years at MHS Nathan has completed most of his core courses at the Honors Level.

Nate has contributed to the MHS Community in many ways, most notably through his participation in Science Olympiad, Gateway and JV Soccer.

Nathan was accepted top and will be attending Worcester Polytechnic University in the fall. He is considering the area of Mechanical Engineering.

No. 6 Robert Bunis

First off I want to thank my parents for guiding me and providing for me throughout my life. I also want to thank Coach Jackson, Coach Lilley, Coach Haftel, and all of the football coaches for having a positive influence on my life and teaching me so many life skills. I want to thank all of my teachers for helping me improve academically and grow as a person. Out of all of my high school experiences, I will definitely miss football the most. I have learned so many things and we have formed our own bond as a family. Shoutout Adam, Cole, Ben, Jordan, Ian, Thomas, Nate, Garrett, Tristan, Zach, JJ, Joey, Deefa, Casey and everyone else for making this football season one to remember. I’m also going to miss playing Xbox (doing some heists) and hanging out with Braden, Josh, Luke, TJ, and Justin. After high school I plan on attending The University of Connecticut to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering.

No. 7 Alexa Gardner


Alexa Gardner is ranked number seven in the class of 2019. During her four years at Merrimack High School, Alexa enjoyed playing her trombone in marching band, concert band, one year of jazz band, and being the trombone section leader for three years. She also spent  four years with the FIRST Robotics Team Chop Shop, highlighted by a trip to the World Championships her freshman year. She swam  with the MHS Swim Team for three years and was a member  of the National Honor Society for two years. 

Following high school, Alexa plans to attend Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont to pursue a degree in video game production management. In her spare time, she likes to bake treats for her family and friends. Alexa wishes to thank her parents, sister, section mates, and friends for all of their support over these past four years. 

No. 8 Shannon Parr

Hello! My name is Shannon Parr and I am extremely proud and grateful to have earned the spot of number 8 in MHS’s 2019 graduating class. During my four years at Merrimack High, I have truly utilized the amazing opportunities and experiences that MHS has presented us with. Throughout my participation in the National Honor Society, varsity cheerleading, the Health Occupations Students of America club, volunteering at my church, and working as a front-end assistant at Market Basket, I have met so many amazing individuals who have taught me tremendous life skills that I will carry with me in the future.

Throughout high school, I have challenged myself by enrolling in honors and AP classes. I was accepted into the National Honor Society junior year, where I have since then benefitted from numerous community service opportunities and club bonding activities. For the past two years, I have been enrolled in a health science program at Nashua South in the mornings where I have completed clinical hours, practiced skills, as well as learned textbook knowledge in order to receive my Licensed Nursing Assistant Certification this May. This class has taught me the basic skills necessary for entering nursing school in the fall as I attend Saint Anselm College. I look forward to the next chapter in my life as well as watching the class of 2019 do great things in the future. 

No. 9 Hope Bibeault

My name is Hope Bibeault and I am graduating from the class of 2019 at the Merrimack High School. Fortunately, I earned ninth place for my class rank. After graduation, I will begin a new journey at the University of New Hampshire and study nutrition as a major. For a minor, I will be studying elementary education. Throughout my four years of high school, I have played soccer in the fall and loved every minute of it. While I was on the soccer team, I learned to never give up (even after a tough loss), to be supportive and respectful towards my teammates, to have appreciation for the coaches who take their time to enhance everyone’s performance, and to work hard for what I want to achieve. During my junior year of high school, I was on the track team and ran long distance. Running track taught me to persevere, no matter how exhausted I became after running the first mile of a 3600 m race. The things that I learned in sports carried over to my achievements in school.

Sports were not the only thing that made my high school experience be memorable and filled with exuberance. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to join clubs as well. Through my four years, I was involved in the National Honor Society, Random Acts of Kindness, the Math National Honor Society, and the H.O.P.E. club (also known as Healthy Options Possible Everyday). Being a part of these extracurricular activities made me realize the beneficial impact of volunteering, how easy is it to make someone smile by committing a kind act, the incredible feeling you receive when you help another student out, and the importance of nutrition or someone’s overall well-being. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish any of my achievements if it weren’t for my family, friends, and teachers who pushed me to be the best version of myself that I could possibly be. Merrimack High School has helped shape me as a person, whether it was in extracurricular activities or the academic aspect.

No. 10 Robert Sawdey

Robert is the son of Kristine and Lee Sawdey, and the brother of Thomas Sawdey. During his time at MHS, Robert has taken the most rigorous course load possible, including eight AP courses as an upperclassman and many honors courses throughout his four years.

Robert has been a competitive chess player since elementary school, and has earned several honors over the past four years. Most notably, he won the 2015 and 2017 New Hampshire Scholastic State Chess Championships, and was chosen to represent NH at the prestigious Denker Tournament of High School Champions in Norfolk, Virginia in the summer of 2017. Additionally, he placed 28th on tiebreaks at the 2017 National Scholastic Grade Level Chess Championships in Nashville, Tennessee as a sophomore.

Robert also participated in Science Olympiad, competing in the events Disease Detectives, Experimental Design, and Materials Science. He was a member of the 2018 team that won the state competition and moved on to Nationals in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Finally, Robert was also very active in athletics at MHS; he competed on the varsity cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track teams, and became a captain of the cross country team his senior year. He has also run multiple half marathons during his time in high school, and hopes to join a running team in college to run many more.

Robert will be attending Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts next fall, where he plans to major in Cognitive and Brain Sciences.

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