Livingston County’s only 2020 National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalist this year is Jacob Batten, 17, of Hartland High School. He’s also No. 2 in the Hartland High School Class of 2020.
No. 1? His twin brother, Lucas Batten.
The two are the sons of Mike and Angelle Batten.
While Jacob scored higher on the PSAT, which earned him his National Merit Semifinalist status, Lucas has a slightly higher GPA and SAT score.
“As a joke, Lucas has been known to tease Jacob by calling him No. 2, referring to his class rank,” said mom Angelle Batten. “Jacob is quick to come back and remind him who qualified as a National Merit Semifinalist.”
The two are planning to study finance and economics after graduation, and are hoping that they can do it together at Northwestern University.
As well as being twins, the two are also best friends who have always been comparable academically, as well as in basketball and baseball.
Jacob’s favorite subject? “Math, because of how logical it is, and there’s always more to learn.”
Lucas’s favorite subject? “History, because I like learning how people and societies evolve over time.”
Both play varsity baseball and basketball, and participate in National Honor Society and Class Council.
“Over the years, they’ve at times been mistaken for each other by coaches with the wrong one getting pulled out of a game for his brother’s errors, or the wrong one getting high-fived for his great play out in the field,” their mom said.
The two have always had a healthy sense of competition between them that has helped them strive to be their best, and help the other to be his best.
“While they sometimes annoy each other with their ‘constructive criticism,’ they know at the end of the day that they want their brother to be successful, whether it’s in the classroom, on the baseball field, or basketball court,” their mom said.
Academic achievement runs in the family. Their sister, Natalie, 19, is in the Centralis Honor Program at Central Michigan University.
Jacob said his biggest inspiration are all the opportunities and possibilities available in the world. “I like seeing people succeed and learning from them,” he said.
“I’m inspired by my grandpa,” Lucas said, “because of how he constantly learned and evolved throughout his life and was always there for people.”
While their parents have always encouraged them to do their best, “they’ve always pushed themselves to achieve,” Angelle Batten said.