6 Scottsdale Prep students recognized as National Merit Semifinalists

Great Hearts Academies had a total of 22 students — six of whom attend Scottsdale Prep Academy — who were recognized as National Merit Semifinalists.

Of the 22 semifinalists, 20 moved on to be recognized as finalists this month, a number that is 10 times higher than the national average named in a graduating class.

Competition in this national program is very rigorous, and winners are chosen based on their abilities, skills, extracurricular accomplishments and potential for success in college and beyond, according to a press release. Recipients compete against more than 1.5 million entrants from nearly 22,000 high schools.

After being named a semifinalist, students have an opportunity to continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships. About 90 percent of semifinalists typically attain finalist standing.

A list of Great Hearts National Merit Scholars is included below, by academy:

  • Scottsdale Preparatory Academy: Anne Bailey, Haley Everroad, Ben Kuhlman, Shea McCollum, Hayden Shelly and Megan Whitley
  • Chandler Preparatory Academy: Ryan Ferdowsian, Matthew Padgett, Tina Peng and Grant Knight
  • Glendale Preparatory Academy: Calen Firedancing, Megan Cook, Daniel Ashcroft, Nicholas Cohn, Alexia Martinez, Emily Timmerman and Renae Wilson
  • Veritas Preparatory Academy: Martin Peters, Benjamin Thomas and Anthony Skikos

“We are truly humbled to see so many Great Hearts students honored as National Merit Finalists and Semifinalists this year,” stated Dr. Robert Jackson, chief academic officer for Great Hearts, in the release. “This recognition is a notable benchmark because it provides a uniform comparison across all high schools nationwide. To see so many of our students achieve recognition in this manner is a tremendous credit to the dedication of our students and the strength of the Great Hearts model.”

Great Hearts servies more than 13,000 students at 29 public schools in greater Phoenix area, and San Antonio and Irving, Tex., with waitlists that exceed enrollment. Great Hearts provides a robust liberal arts curriculum incorporating advanced math and science, a focus on the arts and foreign language, and a range of extra-curricular activities and athletics.

For more information on Great Hearts Academy visit www.greatheartsaz.org.

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