26 AMHS Seniors Named 2018 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

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26 AMHS Seniors Named 2018 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

As college application season begins for Academic Magnet seniors, the National Merit Scholarship Program selects certain individuals with impressive PSAT scores as semi-finalists for 7,500 possible scholarships. Among over 1.6 million eligible high school students who take the test, only 50,000 of those will be considered as high scorers. Only about a third of those, however, are qualified to be National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists, making them the top 1% of test-takers eligible for future applications to become finalists. Likewise, the semi-finalists represent the top .5% of the seniors who take the PSAT in their state. From there, a majority of the semi-finalists become finalists after sending an application showcasing their extracurriculars, awards, and leadership positions. In addition, they need an endorsement from a school official, proof of their standardized test scores, and a record of academic excellence. These elements of their application are also the final components for their designation as Merit Scholars, which gives select students scholarships worth a total of $32 million. CCSD had 35 National Merit Semifinalists this year, up from 22 last year. Academic Magnet single-handedly beat out the school district’s previous total, accounting for 26 of the 35 this term. On interviewing the semifinalists about their reactions and perceptions, there was a general excitement and sense of dignity in the recipients. Mary Frances Kline admits that she was initially surprised by how many Academic Magnet students were semifinalists, but she knows it is a “very strong and smart class.” Gregg Gardner reiterated these sentiments, responding “I always knew the class of 2018 was strong but I’m glad Magnet had such a good showing this year.” David Martin notes that it is “really validating to show that we can compete academically on a national level.” Congratulations to all the recipients!

The list of Academic Magnet National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists:


Alexander P. Adragna
Evelyn Z. Bi
Jasper J. Bishop
Jackson N. Bracy
Fanny Cheung
Sophie M. Crosby
Lauren K. DeMarco
Gregg M. Gardner
Ethan A. Kautz
Mary F. Kline
Trystan W. Knowles
Ashwin D. Koka
Zachary A. Kronsberg
Emma P. Ladd
David W. Martin
Hannah R. Martin
Sophie J. Myrick
Earl W. Navarro
Michael J. Pi
Alexander Puckhaber
Isaac A Smith
John R. Staubes
Maximilian von Asten
Kevin T. Walsh
Jenny J. Yao
Adam H. Ziff



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