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Program recognizes 36 Forest Hills students as top in nation

Sept. 28, 2017 

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has named 14 Forest Hills seniors as semifinalists in the annual National Merit Scholarship Program, an honor less than one percent of the country’s high school students achieve.  An additional 22 students joined the ranks of the top five percent of high school seniors in the nation when they were named commended students.  
 
Semifinalist students from Anderson High School are Sarah Crable, Ivan Delgado, photo of National Merit semifinalistsZachary Fickenworth, Liam Gallagher, Katelyn Huang, Charlotte Moore, Sean Schaeffer, Margarita Stringfellow and Madeline Weitz.  Semifinalists from Turpin High School are Patrick Bentley, Max Egan, Erica Langan, Cathryn Murphy and Anna Nolan.

Commended students from AHS include Joseph Brayshaw, Noah Breitenbecher, Sumitro Chakravarti, Bryant Keeling, Hannah Lynn Lingren, Kate Mizukawa, Allison Siekmann, Zachary White and Eleanor Wong. Commended students from THS are Nathaniel Braun, Evan Dehlinger, Allison Kapostasy, Patrick Liu, Jordan Myers, Madeline O'Connor, Michael Purdon, Zachary Ritzenthaler, Tiffany Russell, Owen Rutter, Neil Sarkar, Mark Scherer and David Steadman.photo of commended students
 
Students entered the 2018 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 36 students meet the requirements, they were 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 special scholarships in the future.  The Forest Hills Board of Education honored these students during its Sept. 25 Board meeting.
 
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,” said Scot T. Prebles, Forest Hills superintendent.  “They have demonstrated outstanding academic dedication and success through their performance in this highly rigorous academic program.  We congratulate these students and applaud their teachers and parents for working together to support student engagement and success.”
 
Finalists, or merit scholars, will be announced in the spring of 2018.