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88 Tulsa-area students named National Merit semifinalists
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88 Tulsa-area students named National Merit semifinalists

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Eighty-eight northeastern Oklahoma high school seniors were named National Merit semifinalists Wednesday.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. announced the names of about 16,000 semifinalists across the United States in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship program. Students entered the program as juniors when they took the Preliminary SAT, which serves as an initial screening tool.

As semifinalists, the students are in the running for 7,500 National Merit scholarships worth about $30 million that will be awarded in spring 2022. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to its percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. Nationwide, the number of semifinalists is less than 1% of all high school seniors.

Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level, according to a news release. In addition to submitting detailed scholarship applications, the students must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and write an essay. Additionally, they have to earn ACT or SAT scores that confirm their previous performance on the screening test.

Finalists will be announced in February, and scholarship winners will be selected from that group.

Semifinalists by school

Augustine Christian Academy, Tulsa: Joshua Farrell

Bartlesville High School: Morgan King, Charles Olsen, Tarun Vinodkumar

Bishop Kelley High School: Cameron Bednar, Drew Danz, Riley Denish, Jakob Gartzke, Aubrei Grisaffe, Emma Nguyen, Carson Rury, Joshua Walter, Emma Williams

Bixby High School: Ella Hall, Lauren Hsieh, Jenna Lawson, Landen Plumlee

Booker T. Washington High School: Joshua Brown, Genevieve Daboval, Paul Galiasso, Henry Holman, Krish Kumar, Charles McDonald, Haley Nettleship, Aaron Peters, Olivia Vanderyt, Jorge Vasquez

Broken Arrow High School: Beau Aafedt, Kyle Bergwall, Evan Kamriguel, Alexander Kirby, Grace Lee, Tristen McCarter, Lydia McNally, Daniel Oh

Cascia Hall Preparatory School: Hailey Polson, Walter Van Hanken

Coweta High School: Layne Havlik

Edison Preparatory High School: Lillian Gehres

Epic One-on-One: Nathan Anderson

Holland Hall: Isaac Walker

Home school: Maryam Arastu (Tulsa), Suzan Cumings (Sand Springs), Aurora Devore (Bixby), Maria Fite (Tulsa), Hannah Shaw (Tulsa), Caleb Tham (Tulsa)

Jenks High School: Grant Adamson, Trace Burchart, Kayla Cao, Kyndall Cook, Sophia Guy, Emilio Hoover, Brandon Isaac, Viranda Kwok, Chantal Le, Seinna Leach, Micah Miles, Nicholas Morris, Jasmine Moss, Sreeja Ponnam, Haeyn Seo, Maya Sous, Ryan Williams, Ignacio Yockers

Mingo Valley Christian School, Tulsa: Amelia Cherry

Owasso High School: Ronald Walker

Peace Academy, Tulsa: Safa Muhammed

Preston High School: Skyler Price

Regent Preparatory Academy, Tulsa: Duvan Boshoff, Luke Krick, Rose Newhouse

Rejoice Christian School, Tulsa: Brianna Herrold

Sapulpa High School: Ruby Fargo, Alexa Farris

Union High School: Ashwin Chandrasekar, Tammy Dao, Annelise Huynh, Fraz Javed, Ariana Kim, Duy Nguygen, Julie Phung, Honor Plumlee, Reeya Ramasamy, Meghana Venkatesha, Jacob Wise

Verdigris High School: Graham Curtsinger

Victory Christian, Tulsa: Jack Lyons

-Parents or schools are encouraged to email news@tulsaworld.com with images and individual submissions for consideration related to this story-


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I am a third-generation graduate of Oklahoma State University and a board member for both Oklahoma SPJ and the Native American Journalists Association. When not chasing stories, I'm usually chasing my children or our pets.

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