Local students named National Merit semifinalists

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Several Shelby County students were among about 16,000 students nationwide who were named semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program, and are now in the running to receive a portion of more than $32 million in scholarships.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation released its semifinal list on Sept. 13 after the students took the 2016 preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test when they were juniors in high school.

The semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of United States high school seniors, and include the highest-scoring entrants from each state.

To qualify to be a National Merit Scholarship finalist, students must submit a detailed scholarship application providing information about their academic record, participation history in school and community activities, leadership abilities, employment and honors they have received.

A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test,” read a release from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Of the 16,000 students were have been named National Merit semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to move to the finalist round and about half of the finalists will earn a National Merit Scholarship.

The following local students have been named National Merit semifinalists:

Evangel Classical Christian School

-Luke Sanders

Evangel Christian School 

-Mary Brook Diamond

Thompson High School

-Thomas Cousins

Briarwood Christian School

-Nicholas Castellanos

-Bryant Long

-Grace Mulvaney

-Meghan Talley

Oak Mountain High School

-Lawson Brown

-Alyssa Gruman

-Emery Little

-Gabriel McPherson

-Joshua Myers

-Joseph Pendry

-Cole Sullivan

Spain Park High School

-Reece Eberhardt

-Corrie James

-William Lamb

-Elijah McKinley

-Woody Shin

-Ryan Smith

-Jennifer Spell

-Madison Todd

-Katharine Turnbull

-Katherine Voorhees

Westminster School at Oak Mountain

-Rachel Faulk

Chelsea High School

-Evan Mealins

Shelby County High School

-Charles Morris

Indian Springs School

-Henry Goff

-Kenneth Jiao

-Emilie Jones

-Amy Li

-Peter Scalise

-Lily St. John

-Danielle Wu