Area students named National Merit semifinalists
Students in De Soto and Shawnee Mission school districts have been named semifinalists in the 61st annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
These students now have the chance to continue in the competition for some 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will then win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.
The students are:
• Jaycie Thaemert, De Soto High School
• Justin Curto, Mill Valley High School
• Allison Kubiak, Mill Valley
• Robert Ault, Shawnee Mission Northwest
• Gina Gabrielli, SM Northwest
• Samuel Korth, SM Northwest
• Grace Ladd, SM Northwest
• Deon Richmond, SM Northwest
• Nicholas Senior, SM Northwest
• Samuel Verschelden, SM Northwest
Additionally, students at private schools in the area were named to the list of semifinalists. Those students are Grace Schippers, senior at St. James Academy in Lenexa, and Nolan Gray, senior at Bishop Miege High School in Mission.
Semifinalists were chosen based on the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test they took in their junior year of high school. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring PSAT entrants in each state. To become a finalist, 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 scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
Students will be notified in February 2016 whether they have been named National Merit finalists. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2016, which will be chosen from the pool of finalists, will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April 2016 and concluding that July.