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Three Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

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Three Students Named National Merit Semifinalists
Posted on 09/29/2014

Three high school students in the Portland Public Schools have been named Semifinalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. The students will be recognized by the Portland Board of Education at its Oct. 7 meeting, and they have an opportunity to compete for National Merit Scholarships to be offered next spring.

The three Semifinalists are Olivia Blom of Deering High School, and Carlo Macomber and Ethan Pierce, both of whom attend Casco Bay High School.

The three academically talented Portland Public Schools students are among about 16,000 Semifinalists nationwide. The Semifinalists were selected from a pool of about 1.4 million high school juniors who entered the 2015 scholarship program by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, according to the nonprofit National Merit organization.

The Semifinalists have a chance to continue in the competition next spring for about 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million.

About 90 percent of the Semifinalists nationwide are expected to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance, including having an outstanding academic record throughout high school, writing an essay, and earning SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The Semifinalists will be notified in February whether they have reached Finalist status.

More than half the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship and become National Merit Scholars.

The Board of Education meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 250 of Casco Bay High School, located at 196 Allen Avenue.