The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recently announced that 18 Lake Washington School District high school seniors qualified as semifinalists in the 53rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Five students from International Community School in Kirkland qualified as semifinalists. They are Emily Chen, Anupam Choudhary, Alexander Esibov, Daniel Kong and Surabhi Nirkhe. Two students from Eastlake High School in Sammamish qualified as semifinalists. They are Ashton S. Hemphill and Allen Y. Liu. Two students from Juanita High School in Kirkland qualified: Jacob S. Brown and Patrick A. Gilbery. One student, Carl F. Walsh, from Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, also qualified.
Redmond High School had the largest number of semifinalists, with eight students. They are Rishi Goutam, Collin S. Meredith, Tasha A. Nagamine, Elizabeth C. Nelson, Walter D. Nicholas, Tejas S. Ranade, Kevin V. Shaw and Ashoat Tevosyan.
A total of 16,000 academically talented students nationwide qualify for this status. These students will have an opportunity to compete for 8,200 Merit Scholarship awards, worth a total of $35 million.
These qualifiers come from the over 1.5 million juniors in high school who took the 2007 Prelminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The total pool of semifinalists represents less than one percent of high school seniors.
To become a finalist, these semifinalists and a school official will submit a detailed scholarship application. That application includes a self-descriptive essay and information about the semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities. The school principal must recommend the student. The student must have an outstanding academic record and earn SAT scores that confirm the earlier PSAT/NMSQT performance.
Lake Washington School District is the sixth largest district in the state of Washington. It has over 23,000 students in 50 schools located in Kirkland, Redmond, and Sammamish, Washington.