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All the National Merit Semifinalists in one place. Tampa Bay has 132 of them this year.

These students are among the top 1 percent of high school seniors in the nation.
The National Merit Scholarship program has announced the names of semifinalists for scholarships to be offered in the spring.
Published Sep. 13
Updated Sep. 13

The Tampa Bay area is home this year to 132 National Merit Semifinalists. The students, whose names were announced this week, are among 16,000 high school seniors nationwide competing in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship program.

They will compete for some 7,600 scholarships worth a total of more than $31 million to be offered in the spring.

The process began when these students and about 1.5 million of their peers took the Preliminary SAT as juniors. Their scores were among the highest in their respective states. And, as semifinalists, they represent an elite group — less than 1 percent of high school seniors in the U.S.

Among the factors considered in the selection are a student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities, employment, other honors and awards, and SAT scores. Students also must be recommended by a high school official and write an essay.

The vast majority of semifinalists will be named finalists in February. Here is a list of the local semifinalists:

Hillsborough County

Alonso High

Alexis N. Gyselinck

Berkeley Preparatory School

Esha Bhatia, Sean M. Florek, Nicholas A. Hajjar, Robert H. Heyck, Ryan Jacobs, Clara M. Jergins, Kayla McLoone, Alexandra L. Politowicz, James J. Stifler and Anuksha S. Wickramasinghe

Blake High

Kian Fotouhi, Leigh R. Ives, Kendall M. Palmer and Kara E. Saville

Bloomingdale High

Jordan L. Chastain and Ryan J. Harding

Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High

Noah R. Kilpatrick

Carrollwood Day School

Emily R. Flinter

Hillsborough High

Natalia Artz, Hirsh Kabaria, Vivek B. Kondapavuluru, Reema D. Patel and Brianna M. Wang


Kathryn A. Reinhardt (Valrico) and Mark T. Thivierge (Lutz)

Jesuit High

Robert B. Andersen, Christopher J. Browy, Spencer V. Farfante, Anthony V. Kirchner, Mark E. Rumsey, Richard Sebek, Alexander E. Skantze, Collin R. Talbot and Giovanni B. Taylor

King High

Fariah Ansari, Arpan Bagui, Cassandra Colaco, Amiya C. Gupta, William F. Li, Khegan E. Meyers, Aditi A. Mishra, Aniruth S. Narayanan, Amy P. Pham, Adam M. Rowan, Nicole Su, Kelly Y. Tian, Ashvin Tyagi, Nafisa I. Uddin, Uma Vogeti and Lixin Zheng

Middleton High

Zachary Melson and Ankit Veerendra

Newsome High

Alexander G. Dyer

Plant High

Alyssa B. Crocker, Lindsey M. Gabler, Ryan B. Hobson, Hamilton M. Jones, Lucy J. Morris, Tien M. Nguyen, Alixandra S. Rubin, Hayden C. Watson and Junhao Zhang

Riverview High

Natalia Forero

Robinson High

Vasishta Akinapalli, Charles T. Hobby, Kayla N. Huynh, Alexandra C. Kirkner, Rohan R. Nadgir, Srikavin Ramkumar and Sierra K. Shellabarger

Seffner Christian Academy

Erin K. Blauth and Riley B. Skiles

Sickles High

Savari Datta

Steinbrenner High

Jonathan E. Barbara, Rebekah F. Hurwitz, Matthew R. Lee and Rana X. Schere

Strawberry Crest High

Julia G. Bower, Brodie S. Brown and Nicholas A. Sherwin

Tampa Preparatory School

Jayden C. Capella and Sania K. Munir

Wharton High

Valeria M. Gutierrez and Shehzad S. Shah

Pinellas County

Clearwater Central Catholic

Paola E. Medina

East Lake High

Bennett A. Carollo, Noelle Esposito and Kelsey A. Robinson

Lakewood High

Ethan N. Nguyen and Rajat Patwari

Largo High

Michael A. Marcotte, Joshua R. Mott, Charles B. Phillips and Haidyn C. Sekeres

Palm Harbor University High

Salma Alandary, Cailey M. Carpenter, Mateusz Plaza, Maya Srinivasan, Vipin Suren and Matthew D. Werneken

St. Petersburg Collegiate High

Calvin M. Finley

St. Petersburg High

Eleanor J. Anderson, Paul G. Fernandez, Aidan Higgs, Sophia H. Hirst, Rivers C. Lenholt, Jack R. McKyton and Sebastian Newell

Tarpon Springs High

Alexander C. Theophilopoulos

Pasco County

Pasco High

Nicholas C. Gray and Joseph S. Hart

Land O’Lakes High

Shannon S. Chen, Achyudhan R. Kutuva, Kathy Liu, Steven Miltenberger, Stanley S. Moonjeli, Elizabeth A. Thorner, Maxwell M. Twitmyer, Takashi Xu and Jennifer R. Zartman

Gulf High

Riya T. Choksi, Krisztian V. Cseh, Derek E. Kaplan and Evan Kaplan

Mitchell High

Bethany A. Bradshaw, Dustin G. Rendell and Amber L. Seaberg

Cypress Creek Middle High

Mindy L. Do

Wiregrass Ranch High

Aidan J. Persaud

Hernando County

Hernando High

Caleb B. Gibson

Springstead High

William An


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