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Seven Science Hill Seniors named National Merit Semifinalists

National Merit Semifinalists


Seven Science Hill seniors joined 16,000 high school students across the country as they were named National Merit Semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors will now have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.

The Science Hill students are Arshaam Kordamiri (son of Maki and Burt Kordamiri), Caiawynn R. Lakey (daughter of Jill and Chad Lakey), Rachel J. Leerssen (daughter of Rebecca and Robert Leerssen), Jacob Y. Na (son of Sookhyun Kim and Taeyoung Na), Lara A. O'Neal (daughter of Ethel and Brian O’Neal), Logan A. Smith (son of Allison and Richard Smith) and Sinna Yang (daughter of Min Hui Huang and Ji Wang Yang).

“We are very proud of these seven students for being named National Merit Semifinalists,” Science Hill Principal Josh Carter said. “These students and their families have worked exceptionally hard and remained dedicated to their education as this national honor reflects. We are honored for them to represent Science Hill.”

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 95 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, honors and awards received. 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 or ACT scores that confirm the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test.

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