Lamar High School Seniors Named Semifinalists in National Merit Scholarship Program
Six Lamar High School students are among 53 HISD seniors who have been named as semifinalists in the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program.
The students are among approximately 16,000 semifinalists announced nationwide Sept. 15 in the 56th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for approximately 8,400 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $36 million, that will be offered next spring.
Semifinalists are the highest scoring entrants in each state on the 2009 PSAT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) and represent less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.
“I am extremely proud of all the semifinalists and their commitment to academic achievement and college readiness,” said HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry B. Grier. “I congratulate their families and teachers for supporting these students in the pursuit of academic education.”
Lamar High School has six semifinalists. They are Marie Chatfield, Nelson Chen, Alexander Hoyer, Christopher Licato, Anne Ratnoff, and Daniel Rauch.
The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts has four semifinalists. They are Sean Amenson, Evan Burrus, John Raffles Durbin, and Margaret Winchell.
Twenty-four of the semifinalists are from Bellaire High School. They are Sara Balabanlilar, Nicole Beittenmiller, Gitanjali Bhattacharjee, Lin Boynton, Emma Breen, Caroline Bybee, Walter Chang, Adam Dyer, Luther Fan, Jeff Feng, Yiming Ge, Vivian Huang, Jingxiao Jin, Edwin Lee, Bo Long, Samantha Maher, Matthew Michaelides, Steven Ng, Lucas O’Conor, Julie Strickland, Jack Sun, Duo Xu, Jingyang Ye, and Xiaocheng Yuan.
DeBakey High School has seven semifinalists. Those students are Sahifah Ansari, Eric Bauerdekanter, Sally Huang, Rose Nguyen, Tea Roh, Stacy Sebastian, and Nancy Shenoi.
Carnegie Vanguard High School has six semifinalists. They are Priscilla Aceves, Kellyn Conant, Christina Fong, Francis MacInnis, Kelly Maset, and Mary Saade.
Two semifinalists are from Challenge Early College High School. They are Noah Gregg and John Wiggins-Goff.
Westside High School also has two semifinalists. They are Maxwell Hummel and Sandy Qi.
Nia Garcia from Lee High School and Hector Alvarenga from Reagan High School are also semifinalists.
To become a finalist for a National Merit Scholarship, semifinalists must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by their high school principal, and earn an SAT score that confirms the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The student and their respective principal also must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes an essay from the student about their participation and leadership in school and community activities.
About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing and approximately half of the finalists will win National Merit Scholarships which will be announced beginning in April of next year. Last year, 27 HISD students were designated as National Merit Scholars.