AHS Senior Wins National Merit Scholarship, is Semifinalist for U.S. Presidential Scholars Award

This spring has been an exciting time for AHS senior Gregory (Gosha) Lubashev. His good news began in March with the notification that he is receiving a $2,500 scholarship from the National Merit® Scholarship Program. Then in April he learned he is a semifinalist in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

Qualifying for a National Merit Scholarship begins with the PSAT/NMSQT test that is taken by about 1.5M students. Approximately 0.1% of these students become finalists and about 50% of these are awarded a scholarship. Winners are chosen by a committee of college admission officers and high school counselors without consideration of need, higher education choice, major, or career plans. The full list of National Merit Scholarship winners was publicly announced on May 10.

The U.S. Department of Education Presidential Scholars Program was created to recognize outstanding high school graduating seniors. Candidates are nominated from every state in the U.S. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education solicits up to two nominations from all the high schools in the state and submits up to 25 students for national consideration. Gosha is one of 12 students from the state list to have been chosen as a national semifinalist. Up to about 161 students from this list will be designated as U.S. Presidential Scholars in May.

As evidenced by these awards, Gosha is an outstanding student with a wide range of accomplishments. His academic record includes three or more Advanced Placement classes during each of his four years at Arlington HIgh School. His School Counselor, Anne Benson, observes that Gosha is a student who can be found “...engaged in classroom discussions and thoughtfully sharing his opinion while listening and collaborating with his peers.” She says that he is fueled by hard work and a love of learning, adding that, “Gosha isn’t satisfied with a surface understanding, he takes the time and energy to dive deep into his subjects and his grades reflect this determination and mastery.” His AHS involvement goes beyond coursework as well. He participates in the Latin Club, founded the Philosophy Club, and sings in the Chorale. 

Beyond the walls of AHS, Gosha heads Kiddo Byte Ukraine that teaches programming to children from Ukrainian orphanages and refugee centers who have been displaced by the war. Ms. Benson describes him as an accomplished computer programmer and coding teacher who spends every Tuesday Zooming with Ukrainian children, and as a compassionate person committed to helping those in need. Gosha is also a co-founder of the Python Club, a nonprofit that offers programming courses and private tutoring sessions to teens across more than ten countries. As a contributor to both organizations, he has earned over 500 hours of community service.

Gosha has spent two summers as a software development intern at MITRE, and works part-time during the school year. Last summer he spent six weeks at the Summer Science Program in Astrophysics where he was part of a group that calculated the orbital parameters of an asteroid and had their findings published in the IAU Minor Planet Center. He is an avid reader (science fiction is a favorite), plays piano and fife, enjoys computer programming, hikes, and hangs out with friends in his spare time. He has been a member of the William Diamond Junior Fife & Drum Corps, performing at local events for ten years.

Gosha has chosen to attend Caltech next year, and though he has not yet settled on a major, he is most interested in Math, Computer Science, or Physics. At AHS he has been particularly interested in these three topics as well as astrophysics and has this to say:  “I have had many fantastic teachers at AHS, including Ms. Mea, Dr. McCauley, Mr. McG, Mr. Dimmock, Ms. Harple, and so many more! They have taught me a lot and made learning a lot of fun.”

Before moving to Arlington nine years ago, Gosha lived in Cambridge. From fourth through eighth grade, he attended Acera, “a fantastic elementary and middle school in Winchester.” His sister Mira, one of two younger siblings, is currently a sophomore at AHS.

When asked what advice he might have for incoming AHS freshmen, Gosha has this to say (even though he admits it might be somewhat “cliche”): “I would highly recommend that they not hesitate to talk to a teacher if and when they have any problems or questions. They are really cool people whose job is to help you through high school, so they would not consider it an imposition or think any less of you for coming to them for help.”

Congratulations, Gosha, and good luck as you move forward into a life of exploration and accomplishment.