Nineteen FHSD Students Named National Merit Commended Scholars and Semifinalists

Posted on 10/27/2016

A total of 19 Francis Howell School District (FHSD) students have been recognized for their academic achievement by being named National Merit Commended Scholars and National Merit Semi-Finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). NMSC announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists during their annual event in September, and these high achievers now have the opportunity to move on in the competition for a chance to receive one of 7,500 scholarships, totaling more than $33 million, which will be offered to the winners next spring.

At Francis Howell North High School (FHN), Blake Coonrod and James Dohrman were both named semifinalists, and Jacob Lintner was named a commended scholar. Principal Andy Downs said he is proud to see how well FHN’s students are doing every year. “It’s amazing how hard these students work, and we couldn’t be more proud of Blake, James, and Jacob,” said Downs.

From Francis Howell Central High School (FHC), Taylor Fawcett, Jack Hiegel, and Rachel Stepanek were also selected as semi-finalists. Kayleigh Ammond, Sophie Julien, and Abigail Nardi achieved National Merit commended status. “These students are so dedicated and involved at Francis Howell Central, it is incredibly inspiring to witness,” said FHC Principal Dr. Sonny Arnel. “It’s great to see that they are recognized for their hard work on a national level.”

Francis Howell High School (FHHS) had nine students recognized by NMSC. Anweshan Das was named a National Merit semi-finalist, and Leah Amos, Joe Aulbach, Marie Dishian, Caroline Dobert, Eric Hanson, Mikayla Hardy, Ajay Makkena, and Christen Voges were all named commended scholars. Principal Dr. David Wedlock said he is thrilled about the recognition. “The fact that we have nine students who did so well in this program shows that hard work and determination can lead to bigger and better things in life,” said Dr. Wedlock. “We are very proud to have such talented students in our community, and I can’t wait to see what their future holds.”

About 1.6 million juniors across the nation entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/ NMSQT), according to a NMSC press release. The students who reached the level of semi-finalist represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and include the highest-ranking entrants in each state.

The names of NMS finalists will be released in February of 2017. The final winners will be selected from this group based on their skills, accomplishments and potential success in rigorous college studies, according to NMSC.

FHSD congratulates these 19 talented students on the recognition, and wishes them good luck for the remainder of the competition.

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