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National Merit Semifinalists from Each High School Honored

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National Merit Semifinalists from Each High School Honored
Posted on 10/20/2016
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The Portland Board of Public Education and Superintendent Xavier Botana recently recognized four academically talented high school seniors: Rose Griffin from Portland High; Alex Smith from Deering High; and Jasper Sommer and Nathaniel Youngren from Casco Bay High. The students have been named Semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The four were recognized at the board’s Oct. 18 meeting.

Being a Semifinalist gives the students the opportunity to compete for thousands of National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. Rose, Alex, Jasper and Nat are among about 16,000 Semifinalists nationwide. The Semifinalists were selected from a pool of about 1.6 million high school juniors who entered the scholarship program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Most 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 their earlier performance on the qualifying test. About half the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship and become National Merit Scholars.

Botana told the students: “Congratulations on achieving this high recognition of your academic achievements! We wish you all the best as you continue on in this competition.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured (from left) are Portland Board of Public Education Chair Marnie Morrione and National Merit Semifinalists Jasper Sommer, Nathaniel Youngren and Alex Smith; and Superintendent Xavier Botana. (Semifinalist Rose Griffin was unable to attend the school board meeting.)