New Paltz High School valedictorian Wells Willett has won a National Merit Scholarship. He was chosen from more than 15,000 national semi-finalists.
Wells earned a GPA of 101.2, which factored in his performance in five advanced placement classes. He is the captain of both the cross-county team and Nordic ski team, in which he was named a section champion. He is an avid cyclist and hiker. and participates in triathlons.
Wells will apply the scholarship funds toward tuition costs at Dartmouth College, where he plans to double major in environmental science and applied mathematics.
NPHS calculus teacher Kathryn Stewart wrote a recommendation letter Willett as a “mature and creative human and problem-solver.” He developed STEM programs for local schools and outdoor camps, and has a myriad of diverse interests and abilities.
“I have become interested in the ethics of animal consumption, as a result of my study of environmental science and it’s focus on animal consumption in the environmental lens,” said Willett. “This has been a fascinating topic for me, and has prompted me to drastically reconsider my position in the world and the relationship I should have towards other beings on the planet, both human and non-human.”