54 local students test in top 1%, earn National Merit honor

Students earn National Merit recognition for posting the highest scores on the Preliminary SAT exam.

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Students earn National Merit recognition for posting the highest scores on the Preliminary SAT exam.

Fifty-four local high school seniors from 19 different schools have been named National Merit semifinalists after scoring in the top 1 percent of all students taking the Preliminary SAT exam.

By last fall, more than 1.5 million students in the current senior class took the PSAT — a precursor to the Scholastic Aptitude Test college entrance exam. But only 16,000 high-scoring students nationally were named semifinalists, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

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Most semifinalists will be named finalists and become eligible for NMSC scholarships. To do so, they must submit detailed applications of their accomplishments and be recommended by an official at their high school.

The 2020-21 PSAT dates are Oct. 14 (primary), Oct. 17 (weekend), Oct. 29 (alternate), and Jan. 26 (newly added).

Each state’s number of National Merit semifinalists (Ohio had 684) is proportional to its share of the nation’s students, according to NMSC. Because of that, the cutoff score to be a semifinalist varies from state to state.

Numerous other students who just missed their state’s semifinalist cutoff, but scored among the top 3 percent of students nationally, are named National Merit commended students.

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The National Merit organization emphasizes each year that these student honors recognize the excellence of individual students, not the quality or effectiveness of a state or school’s education system.

Here are the local semifinalists:

Beavercreek: Eric J. Anderson, George Chen, Preston J. Hancock, Spencer J. Hancock, Thomas J. Holte, Christopher B. May, Vivek M. Prasad, Ranga N. Rutiser Sundar, Anna J. Yang, Tiffany J. Zhou.

Bellbrook: Avarie L. Faulkner, Cailey A. Riggs, Marissa P. Smith

Bishop Fenwick: William Richards, Brooke F. Woods

Carroll: Cameron R. Neidhard, Josephine G. Rose

Centerville: Ashrit Challa, Riya M. Dalal, Anjana Peddireddi, Nicholas J. Pitrof, Andrew Z. Song, Nikhil Vijai, Katherine G. Wagner, Jeffrey X. Zhang

Chaminade Julienne: Kathryn A. Schinaman

Dayton Regional STEM School: Kyle D. Eskew, Rilo P. Oberg, Rebekah G. Porter, Pushkar Shirahatti, John O. Wright

Homeschool (Xenia): Josiah T. Entner

Legacy Christian: Joshua M. McClain

Miamisburg: Kamryn E. Clark, Brandon J. Homan, Riley N. Russell

Miami Valley School: William E. Groger

Milton-Union: Micah D. Tracy

Northmont: William A. Pickrell

Oakwood: John J. Bauer, Lane B. Bokros, Carson J. Rohan, Luke E. Smallwood

Springboro: Elijah T. Barker, Lilian M. Coffin, Grace M. Gulczinski, Elliot J. Phillips, Haley E. Scott, Krishna Singla

Tippecanoe: Heidi R. Allan

Tri-County North: Kaimee Knisley

Troy Christian: Carson M. Dickey

Waynesville: William E. Click, Landen T. Stricker

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