Douglas County boasts 12 National Merit Semifinalists

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Article updated to add photos, 6:21 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16:

A dozen students of Douglas County high schools have earned the prestigious title of National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists, according to a news release from the organization.

Here’s how it works, according to the release: “High school juniors entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

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

To become finalists, the semifinalists and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, and their SAT or ACT scores must “confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.” They have an opportunity to compete for about 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered next spring, according to the release.

According to the list provided by the program, the following students of Douglas County schools made the cut:

Eudora High School: Eliana S. Isenburg

Free State High School: Hannah M. De Guzman; Isabella N. Evans; Chaney M. Finkeldei; Ari E. Karman; Jared M. Loos; Cortlyn L. Ruckman; Blake J. Sanders; Mary Katherine G. Shultz; and Anand J. Singh

Lawrence High School: Eva E. Ackley and Elijah J. Paden

Photos: All but Sanders (and the Eudora Cardinal) by Emma Fotovich / USD 497

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