Twenty-five students from the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District qualified as National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists. The organization also recognized five students from St. Francis High School for their achievements.
Only the top 1 percent of applicants in the nation earn National Merit recognition. Each year, approximately 1.5 million students participate in the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) in a program co-sponsored by the College Board. The standardized test measures critical reading, math problem-solving and writing skills. Semifinalists may continue in the competition for 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $48 million awarded next spring.
To become a finalist, semifinalists must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by their high school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm the students’ earlier performance on the qualifying test. The semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, that includes the student’s essay and information about the semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.
Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
Semifinalists from Los Altos High School are John R. Beutter, Emily Y. Cheng, Runming Dai, Blaine M. Dzwonczyk, Alice Hau, Catherine Y. Hua, Libbie A. Katsev, Jacqueline Liu, Jerry J. Liu, Hongyi Shi, Richelle L. Smith, Natasha M. Welingkar, Johathan R. Yu and Allison D. Yuen.
“These outstanding seniors at Los Altos High School are being recognized this month for their performance on last year’s PSAT. We are pleased to announce their names to the community and will formally honor them at our Senior Awards Night in May,” said Maryann Smetzer, Los Altos High Counselor.
From Mountain View High School, the semifinalists are Evan I. Cohen, Jennifer Duan, Christopher J. Egerton, Diana N. Gong, Megan A. Joseph, Nadia L. Khayrallah, Naib A. Mian, Eli Nelson, Lauren Salinero, Janet Uhlir and Conan X. Zhou.
“Mountain View High School is very proud of this outstanding group of students who have been selected as National Merit Semifinalists this year,” Mountain View High Counselor Marti McGuirk said. “We are excited to support them in the next stages of the process and look forward to celebrating their success in the spring.”
Local St. Francis High School semifinalists are Timothy Chang, Paul Kim, Susan Lang, Eela Nagaraj and Christine Wang.