Twenty-eight high school seniors from Edmond Public Schools have been named 2017 National Merit Semifinalists-the most of any public or private school district in Oklahoma.

The prestigious scholastic competition recognizes students for academic success in the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year.

Edmond’s Semifinalists include three from Santa Fe High School; eight from Edmond Memorial High School and 17 from North High School.

Memorial National Merit Semifinalists
EMHS Semifinalists: Front row (left to right) Megan Milligan, Maleeha Khan, Karena Zhao and Carson Schlittler. Back Row (left to right) Gavin Hetzler, Aadithya Shenoy, Robert Walderbach, Davis Thomas

“Edmond North High School is very blessed to be a part of a vibrant learning community where parents and students place a significant value on education,” said Edmond North Principal Jason Pittenger.  “Our students typically come to us with a solid foundation that allows us to maximize the potential of each student walking our hallways.  I want to extend a personal ‘thank you’ to the parents, elementary and middle school teachers as well as our very own in providing the kind of instructional experience that allows these students to blossom.  We are ecstatic with the success of our students.”

Nationwide, 16,000 students were named Semifinalists. The pool of Semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. The number is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

Semifinalists have the opportunity to continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition.

Ethan Vong and Michelle Nguyen from SFHS

Associate Superintendent of Secondary Education, Dr. Debbie Bendick, said in seeking commonalities in their experiences prior to the PSAT test, there are two shared experiences that a preponderance of the students report: a love for reading and participation in a musical experience.

“The propensity for these two co-curricular involvements, one very individually pursued and the other with both a solo and group experience, do support the value of a multi-faceted approach to learning and living,” said Bendick. “All of our Edmond National Merit Semi-finalists, regardless of their outside interests or in-school achievements, are wonderful examples of the power of the combined influences of engaged families, richly blessed communities, purposeful schools and teachers, and willing, tenacious teens.”

The names of Edmond’s National Merit Semifinalists are as follows:

Edmond North High School:  

Devraat Awasthi

Darby Cobb

Grace Depp

Cameron Hancock

Matthew Harrison

Samuel Holloway

Patricia Liu

Caralea McGee

Calvin Ong

Ari Papahronis

Tyler Riat

Bethany Roberts

James Rounsavall

Shu Tan

Reese Weingaertner

Garrett Wilkens

Pallavi Yennapu

Edmond Memorial High School:

Gavin Hetzler

Maleeha Khan

Megan Milligan

Carson Schlittler

Aadithya Shenoy

Davis Thomas

Robert Walderbach

Karena Zhao

Edmond Santa Fe High School: 

Michelle Nguyen

Kichang Song

Ethan Vong