Thirty-four Pinellas County schools students have been named 2009 National Merit semifinalists. Semifinalists are eligible to compete for more than 8,000 National Merit scholarships worth $35-million that will be offered in the spring.
The 2009 National Merit semifinalists are: Mackenzie R. Deck, Victoria A. Joyal, Nicholas D. Phillips, Niraj Singh and Erica L. Von Stein of the Center for Advanced Technologies at Lakewood High; Jay C. Zuerndorfer of East Lake High; Gal Amar of Gibbs High; Kristen A. Eberts and Jennifer L. Shelby of Largo High; Anwesha Banerjee, Nicholas K. Caros, Qicong Chen, Noah D. Crisp, Robin J. Hamilton, Ryan C. Hoyt, Brian J. Kagay, Taylor A. Kizer, Ashley S. Kumar, Rachael E. Landis, Christopher R. Mertens and Keegan J. Musser of Palm Harbor University High; Carmen S. Dolling, Natalie J. Hebin and Jamie Sprecher of Seminole High; Dylan R. Sprague of St. Petersburg Collegiate High; Morgan A. Bauer-Emery, Kimberly E. Ferris, Jocelyn R. Howard, Jenna G. Lawhead, Brian McPhee, Kim T. Nguyen, Thomas L. Sutton and Alexander N. Weddle of St. Petersburg High; and Philippe G. Leguichard of Tarpon Springs High.
More than 1.5-million high school juniors in more than 21,000 schools took the 2007 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, an initial screen of program entrants.
Of those, about 16,000 were named semifinalists.
To become a finalist, semifinalists must submit a scholarship application, have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by their principal, earn SAT scores that confirm the qualifying test performance, and write an essay describing activities, interests and goals.