The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
About 1.6 million juniors from more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants, a National Merit press release said.
The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
At Garnet Valley High School, Catherine Cai, Samyukt A. Kannurpatti, Jae Hyun Kim, Ian J. Maxwell, Hiroto Saito, Patrick J. Stoyer, Christine H. Wang and Jonathan R. Wong achieved semifinalist status.
Kennett High’s semifinalist was Zachary G. Hrenko, and Avon Grove's semifinalists were Brian Armstrong, Noah M. Donten, and Drew A. Lazarow.
At Unionville High School, the following students earned semifinalist recognition: Robert B. Akins, Uma Balaji, Alexander Castina, Christopher A. Gehrke, Lyndsay E. Hastings, Caroline E. Kenton, Skyler N. Lambert, Irene Z. Liu, Wanjing Liu, Sagar Maheshwari, Sophia M. Maloney, Thomas P. Miles, Leah R. Tedesco, Nicholas Y. Yang, and Paige E. Young.
In the West Chester district, Melissa K. Morgan from B. Reed Henderson High was a semifinalist, as were Jack F. Brosnan, Nicholas D. Felice, and Brian J. Kent, Sean P. O’Hara, Ryan Wagner, and Maxwell M. Xu from Bayard Rustin and Kevin J. Diestelow, Katherine E. Foss, Benjamin J. Klucznik and Anna E. Steinmetz from West Chester East.
James A. Hurd and Derek Y. Shan were semifinalists from the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School while Thomas Barnett, Molly Lynch, Jane A. Mentzinger and Elena Vilceanu made the cut for Westtown School.
The semifinalists will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring, the release said.