Several local students named National Merit semifinalists

Published 2:38 pm Thursday, September 10, 2015

Students in several local schools were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists on Sept. 9. (File)

Students in several local schools were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists on Sept. 9. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Several Shelby County students were chosen among 16,000 students from across the nation to be named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program, making them eligible for more than $32 million in scholarships through the program.

The program announced the students who had been chosen as semifinalists on Sept. 9, including students attending public and private schools throughout Shelby County.

National Merit selects semifinalists for the scholarship based on the students’ scores on the Preliminary SAT and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which was taken by about 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools across the nation in 2014.

“The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state,” read a National Merit release. “The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.”

About 15,000 of the 16,000 semifinalists will move on to become finalists through the program, and will be eligible to receive scholarships from National Merit, corporations and colleges. Scholarship winners will be announced in spring 2016.

The following local students were named National Merit semifinalists:

-Evangel Classical Christian School: Jared Carter

-Thompson High School: Emma Fell

-Briarwood Christian School: Connor Pelham

-Oak Mountain High School: Jacob Elkins

-Westminster School at Oak Mountain:Collins Mills

-Chelsea High School:Kennedy Ivy

-Helena High School: William C. McMeans

-Spain Park High School: Stanley Badio, Christopher Breaux, Katherine Hunter, Austin Peinhardt, Stephen Ritchey, Zoe Shore, Peyton Spencer and Blair Williams.

-Indian Springs School: McKenna Barney, Ashlynn Berry, Claire Chen, Daun Lee, Michael O’Malley, Rob Pulliam and Cheska Romero.