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Program recognizes 15 Forest Hills students as top in nation

September 19, 2018

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation named seven Forest Hills seniors as semifinalists in the annual National Merit Scholarship Program, an honor earned by less than one percent of the United States’ high school students.  An additional eight students joined the ranks of the top three percent of high school seniors in the nation when they were named commended students.  

Semifinalist students are Kennedy Snyder from Anderson High School and Lydia Grant, Peter Lefkovitz, Eleanor Mengel, Cecilia Russell, Anthony Salvato and Katherine Wills from Turpin High School.

Commended students from AHS include Brandon Boldt, Ashley Gavin, Jason Moore and Noah Lind. Commended students from THS are Maria Blanchard, John Clawson, Allison Kaylor and Isabel Shim.

Students entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program as juniors, along with 1.5 million students throughout the country, by taking the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test which determines if program entrants meet the program’s rigorous requirements. Not only did all 15 students meet the requirements, they are among the highest scoring entrants.

In recognition of their achievements, all students received a letter of commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.  They were also referred to two universities of their choice by the NMSC and may be eligible for future special scholarships.  The Forest Hills Board of Education will honor these students during its 7 p.m., Sept. 24 Board meeting at Mercer Elementary.

Semifinalist students will continue in the Merit Scholarship Program with hopes of earning finalist status and the opportunity to compete for a $2,500 Merit Scholarship award and more than 5,000 corporate- and college-sponsored scholarships. 

To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be recommended by the school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm their earlier qualifying test performance. All students must also submit a detailed scholarship application, a self-descriptive essay and information about participation and leadership in school and community activities.

“These students have worked hard throughout their high school careers and this honor recognizes that. We've already seen these students make an impact on their teachers and classmates, and we are confident that when they leave Forest Hills, they will make their mark on the world,” said Scot T. Prebles, Forest Hills superintendent.  “We applaud these students, their teachers and their parents for working together to achieve the highest levels of success.”

Finalists, or merit scholars, will be announced in the spring of 2019.