GCS Merit Scholar Semifinalists

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For Immediate Release: September 13, 2017

Contact: Tina Firesheets (336) 370-8307
Media Desk (336) 574-5730

GCS Has 24 Merit Scholar Semifinalists
The National Merit Scholarship Program Identifies Academically Gifted High School Seniors

Greensboro, N.C. – Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation have announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The list includes 24 GCS students from 10 schools. They are:

Hollis Akins, Robert Barnette, Richard Chen, Joseph Coggin, Sahana Giridharan, Ashley Myers, Clare O’Connor, Sydney Pierce, Tejas Santanam, Hannah Shoemaker, Sylvia Wang, Haiming Xu – all of Early College at Guilford; Rebecca Little and Sarayu Pai, Grimsley High; Mohsen Soltani, Middle College at UNCG; Annika Preheim, Northern High; Mariusz Derezinski-Choo and Anna Yang, Northwest High; John Dewey, Page High; Lainey Miller, Western High; Andrew Blosse and Harrison Strag, High Point Central High; Kristen Starks, Southwest High; and Samuel Lempp, Ragsdale High.

The academically gifted seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million to be offered next spring.

Semifinalists qualified for the scholarship program based on their 2016 PSAT scores. They represent a pool of less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportionate to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To advance to the finalist level, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements, which includes submitting a detailed application showing their school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, honors and awards. They must also have an outstanding academic record and a recommendation from a school leader. In addition, they must write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm their earlier performance on the PSAT.

About 90 percent are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship. Winners will be announced starting in April 2018, and continue through July.

About Guilford County Schools
Guilford County Schools, the third largest school district in North Carolina, the 47th largest of more than 14,000 in the United States, and serves more than 73,000 PK-12 students at 126 schools. With approximately 10,000 employees, GCS works in partnership with parents, businesses, colleges and the community to deliver an education that connects student interests and skills with the careers and economy of our future here and around the world. We provide educational choices to meet individual student needs in a culturally diverse citizenship and new opportunities to help our students Soar to Greatness. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.gcsnc.com.

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