Monday, October 5, 2015

SBISD’s National Merit Semifinalist Student Honorees Announced

Thirty-six Spring Branch ISD high school seniors were named recently as National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists or as National Hispanic Recognition Program student award recipients. These district students rank among the nation’s best young minds.

Seventeen students from Memorial and Stratford high schools have been named National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists this year. They will be honored along with related student award winners during the regular monthly meeting of the SBISD Board of Trustees on Oct. 26.

Memorial High seniors named this year as National Merit Semifinalists are Matthew Andersen, Allison Eggert, Jiayuan Gong, Andrea Jiang, Jihyeon Joung, Parker Kelly, Noah Kenner, Dong Eun Lee, Lauren Perillo, Hannah Pike, Gabriel Stella, Jerry Yang, Rujing Zha and Yoojin Kim.

Stratford High’s National Merit Semifinalists this year are Timothy Angeles, Nicholas Hasou and Scott Kennedy.

Students become eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Program when they take the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as juniors. Semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of the high school graduating class in Texas and rank as the nation’s highest scoring test takers.

Semifinalists now have an opportunity to qualify for National Merit Finalist awards, which will be announced during early 2016. In addition, the finalists qualify for about 7,400 National Merit Scholarships through corporate and other funding sources. More than $32 million will be offered in a variety of National Merit-related scholarships.

In addition, 19 seniors from three SBISD campuses – Memorial, Spring Woods and Stratford high schools – have been named as finalists in the annual National Hispanic Recognition program. These award winners are often also known as National Hispanic Scholars.

Named as National Hispanic Recognition Program honorees from Memorial High School are David Alarcon, Jacqueline Alvarez, Luis Antillon, Arabella Benavides, William Bretches, Carolina Fernandez, Annett Gawerc, Alexandria Ramirez and Clara Troyano-Valls.

At Spring Woods High School, Adam Pena and Fernando Cruz Sanchez have been named as National Hispanic Scholar finalists.

At Stratford High School, finalists in the National Hispanic Recognition Program are Caroline Addison, Noelle Flores, Cristobal Hirsch, Abigail Hirst, Alyssa Plant, Diane Sosa and Nicolas Terrazas.

To earn this recognition, students must be of at least one-quarter Hispanic/Latino descent, attain a high performance level on the PSAT, and have a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher at the end of their junior year. About 5,000 students now earn this national recognition each year.

In addition to these honors, 50 district seniors have been awarded the distinction of earning National Merit Commended recognition.

Nationally, about 34,000 of the high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT are designated as Commended Students. They are named on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index qualifying score that may vary from year to year. This score is generally within the 96 percentile of all college-bound juniors across the nation.

Memorial High School is home to 40 National Merit Program Commended Students this year. They are Matthew Abshire, David Alarcon, Jacqueline Alavarez, Luis Antillon, Meredith Aucock, Arabella Benavides, Anushree Biradar, Marie Bolt, William Bretches, Catherine Cai, Christina Chen, Angela Chin, James Greer, Yusuf Hadidi, Aniston Hill, Caroline Jones, Michael Kim, Nahyun Kim, Elizabeth Knapp, Nimay Kumar, Rachel Lai, Sean Lee, Cody Leong, John Limbaugh, Olivia Ling, Claire Livingston, Aidan Loggenberg, David Lueders, Paige Moskowitz, Shannon Park, Alexandria Ramirez, Bryan Read, Jacob Reistroffer, Ye Sheng, Samuel Thomas, Loren Trowbridge, Clayton Wells, William Wilson, Edwin Wyatt.

Also named National Merit Commended students are Stratford High’s Kiana Banafshay, Henry Baring, Race Carter, Esther Cho, Abigail Hirst, David Mogilevsky, Alexandre Rubinstein, Collins Rush, Yoolim Seo and Seth Young.

At Westchester Academy for International Studies, senior Matthew Nepo also won National Merit Commended recognition this year.

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