Scottsdale Schools students recognized for National Merit achievement

(File photo)

The Scottsdale Unified School District has announced that 13 high school seniors have been named Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The students became semifinalists by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test last October. About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools nationwide took the test, which served as an initial screening of program entrants, according to a press release.

Additionally, 43 other SUSD seniors will receive Letters of Commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Program in recognition of their exceptional academic promise. These students also took the PSAT/NMSQT in October 2016 and placed among the top 50,000 scorers, the press release stated.

“We commend our seniors for their hard work and dedication to learning,” said Dr. Denise Birdwell, SUSD superintendent, in a prepared statement. “It is a privilege for our teachers and learning communities to provide students with the kind of rigorous learning environment that opens up multiple avenues for success when they graduate.”

The following SUSD students are Semifinalists for 2018 National Merit Scholarships:

Arcadia High School: Argon Stern

Chaparral High School: Ann Chang, Kaila Frohna, Katherine Hostal, Kyle O’Connor, Christina Wang

Desert Mountain High School: Hannah Bernier, Samantha Chu, Logan Farrington, Kevin Liang, Justin Pederson, Serena Schein, Tyler Yurek

The 13 SUSD Semifinalists are among 16,000 students nationwide who will now have the opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $32 million that will be offered next spring.

The names of the Finalists will be announced in February 2018. Scholarship winners’ names will be released in four parts, beginning in April 2018. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. Arizona has 281 Semifinalists this year.

The following SUSD students will receive Letters of Commendation from the National Merit® Scholarship Program:

Arcadia High School: Falan Alpert, Allison Binsfeld, Dallas Greene, Jonathan Hake, Lena Halden, Emma Lieberman, Elle Overs, Hal Owens, Matthew Soza, Aidan Weber

Chaparral High School: Kaitlyn Alvarez, Camden Beal, Shannon Bloom, Nicola Buskirk, Joseph Castillo, Justin Dubnow, Ian Fanning, Cole Gibson, Adam Gonen, Kai Hespeler, Karsten Householder, Katelyn Itano, Matthew Muscheid, Milena Santiago, Kelly Su, Julia Wanger

Desert Mountain High School: Dylan Angle, Edward Chang, Katherine Charette, Riley Doan, Nicole Falls, Benjamin Gerber, Alexandra Guatney, Medha Jasthi, Radhika Khosla, Emma Rymarcsuk, Yasmine Sarraf, Kara Sherman, Mark Short, Jennifer Wong, Barrett Yueh

Saguaro High School: Logan Spatola and Alessandra Young

Although commended students do not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, some of these students become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses, the press release stated.

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