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PHS National Merit Semifinalist Honored by School Board

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PHS National Merit Semifinalist Honored by School Board
Posted on 10/21/2015
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Portland High School senior Benjamin Freedman has been named a Semifinalist in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. This academic achievement resulted from Ben’s high test scores on the 2014 Preliminary SAT National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

Ben was honored by the Portland Board of Public Education and Interim Portland Superintendent Jeanne Crocker at the board's Oct. 20 meeting.

About 1.5 million juniors nationwide entered the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2014 PSAT/NMSQT. The pool of 16,000 Semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors.

Ben will now have the opportunity to apply to become a Finalist and compete for one of the 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million dollars.

About 90 percent of the 16,000 Semifinalists nationwide are expected to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance, including having a 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.

Ben currently serves as the treasurer of the PHS Student Council, is a member of the Executive Board for the Class of 2016, is recognized as a high-scoring Math Team member, participates in the Model United Nations program, and has played baseball throughout high school. Ben also has worked concessions for three years for the Portland Sea Dogs. In addition to being the district’s only National Merit Semifinalist this year, Ben is also recognized as an Advanced Placement Scholar. 

Photo Caption: Pictured (from left) are Interim Portland Superintendent Jeanne Crocker; PHS senior Benjamin Freedman; and Portland Board of Public Education Chair Sarah Thompson.