All Saints Episcopal School is proud to announce that its 17-member Class of 2021 has two seniors receiving honors by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Ash Bumstead and Sebastian Whitaker were named as National Merit Commended Scholars.

The two All Saints seniors scored among the highest scores in Texas on the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) when the PSAT was administered to juniors in October 2019 nationwide. As National Merit Commended Scholars, Bumstead and Whitaker are candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

“This honor is a testament to the exceptional academic focus and work ethic of two impressive students, Ash and Sebastian,” Head of School Bruce Latta said.  “As you can see in each young man’s list of accomplishments, they are well-rounded leaders of the school in athletics, government, service and student activities. It’s one thing to have talent, it’s another to maximize it and put it to good use as Ash and Sebastian have done. We are proud of them and of how well they represent both All Saints and the Lubbock community.”

As members of All Saints sixth graduating class, Bumstead and Whitaker are the fifth group of All Saints Episcopal High School National Merit Scholars. The Lubbock area has seven total seniors earning the National Merit Scholar status this year. Two Lubbock Cooper students join the All Saints seniors as Commended scholars while one senior each from Frenship High School, Lubbock Christian High School, and Lubbock High School earned National Merit Semifinal status.

“Throughout Ash Bumstead’s academic career at All Saints school, he has been heavily involved in numerous activities and has been very impactful through his presence and actions.  While in high school, Ash has participated in TAPPS academic competitions, student council, band, mock trial, chemistry club and athletics.  He is also a member of the high school Honor Council and is currently the Chairperson of Honor Council,” High School Division Head Tammy Edmonson said.  “I have witnessed Ash’s persistent and tireless work ethic over his high school career.  He strives to be engaged in his learning with a sense of humility and respect for others.  His actions are a direct reflection of his parents’ guidance and love and symbolizes the embodiment of the character and values that are dear to All Saints.”

Edmonson said, “It is with great joy and excitement to congratulate Ash on this prestigious accomplishment.  Ash has continually worked towards this meaningful goal while attending All Saints.  No matter what direction Ash pursues after high school, he will most definitely excel and will continue to strive for excellence.”

Bumstead is a member of the Varsity Basketball, Cross Country, and Track teams and has earned state honors in each sport.  He is president of the Chemistry Club and founding member of the school’s Honor Council.  In addition, he is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, High School Band, Mock Trial Team, and TAPPS Academic Team, in which he is a two-time TAPPS 2A State Champion in Mathematics. He has received the prestigious Proven Patriot Award each year of high school along with being named to the Headmaster Honor Roll each year. Bumstead is active in his church youth group at Lakeridge United Methodist Church and traveled with them on a Tanzania Mission Trip in 2014 to work with schools in remote villages. He serves All Saints as a Student Ambassador, which includes live TV interviews and promotional videos for student recruitment as well as personally visiting with prospective students and families. His hobbies include his love of playing the piano and guitar along with hunting and fishing.  Bumstead plans to attend either Baylor University or SMU next fall.  His parents, Krista and Matt Bumstead, enrolled Ash into All Saints as a three-year-old Preschool student.  His brother, Nate, is in the seventh grade at All Saints while his sister, Susannah, is a 2019 All Saints graduate and a sophomore at Baylor.

“What a pleasure it has been to work with a young man like Ash Bumstead.  He is such a humble, honorable and ethical young man in addition to being an intellectually gifted student. His character is beyond reproach and he is a role model for all students,” All Saints Counselor Gwen Belk said. “Ash is so deserving of the honor of being named a National Merit Commended Student. He has worked diligently and tirelessly to achieve academic success. I am so pleased for Ash and his wonderful family and I am immensely proud of him.”

Sebastian Whitaker is very involved with Student Council having served as Class Representative, Treasurer, Vice President, and President. He also is a founding member of the Honor Council and is a member of the National Honor Society as well as the Varsity Debate and Mock Trial Teams. Whitaker is a member of the High School Band and Drumline and the Varsity Cross Country, Basketball, and Track teams. He was Lubbock’s delegate to Texas Boys State last May and was a delegate to the Model G20 Summit in Beijing, China in 2019.

“Sebastian Whitaker is a very talented and well-rounded student at All Saints who contributes greatly to our school academically and through his participation in TAPPS academic competitions, athletics, speech and debate, mock trial, chemistry club, band, student council and current Vice-Chairperson for Honor Council,” Edmonson said.  “Through his persistence, determination and effort, he has been able to accomplish many accomplishments during his time while in high school.  Sebastian is a very driven student who has worked tirelessly to be involved and excel in many different areas.  Mr. and Mrs. Whitaker have also played an integral part in the academic success of their son by seeking out schools with high academic standards as they moved from Austin to Lubbock shortly before Sebastian was entering sixth grade.  Sebastian reflects many of the All Saints characters and values through his engagement and commitment in various avenues of learning and extracurricular activities.  I’m so very pleased for Sebastian and anxious to see the path he pursues for college and beyond knowing that he will make a significant impact and accomplish many things with whatever he pursues in the future.”

In 2019, Whitaker spent half of his summer serving as a senate page for U.S. Senator John Cornyn in Washington D.C.  and the other half serving as a camp counselor at Camp Mishawaka in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  He has received the school’s most prestigious Proven Patriot award every year along with being named to the Headmaster Honor Roll.  Whitaker volunteers as a Lector and Altar Server at Holy Spirit Catholic Church as well as volunteers through All Saints at many community organizations. He is a history buff and enjoys learning languages, reading, sailing, and participating in sports. Whitaker plans to study political science and pursue a career in law.  He joined his All Saints class in 2014 in the sixth grade. His sister, Ashby, is a junior at All Saints. Dana and Jeff Whitaker are his parents.

“Sebastian Whitaker is a dedicated student with exceptional work ethic.  It has been my pleasure to serve as his counselor and I am extremely proud of his accomplishments. His parents have fostered within him an extreme love of learning,” Belk said. “He is most deserving of any and all of the honors that have come his way.”

Edmonson credits Bumstead and Whitaker’s parents with their successes, but she also attributes their National Merit Scholar success to the high school faculty.

“This significant accolade for both Ash and Sebastian is also a direct reflection of the All Saints faculty that is dedicated to the success of our students and well versed in the academic rigor needed for students to excel at this high level,” Edmonson said. “They are to be recognized as well for their desire to offer a strong education along with meaningful ethics and values to students which allows All Saints students to have a wide variety of options and opportunities after high school.”