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OHS boasts 14 National Merit students

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Three Orono High School students have been designated as semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. An additional 11 OHS students achieved commended status.

This is the most students recognized by the NMS program from OHS in more than 10 years. All of the students will be honored by the Orono School Board at its meeting Monday, November 13.

The semifinalists are:

  • Alex Berger, son of Larry and Sandie Berger, Wayzata;
  • Anna Hughes, daughter of John and Diane Hughes, Long Lake; and
  • Maria Keller, daughter of Aaron and Maura Keller, Plymouth.

The commended students are:

  • Andrew BaranNational Merit Scholarship program logo
  • Ivy Barrett
  • Rachel Constant
  • Kevin Cornelius
  • Sonia Driskill
  • Olivia Eriksson
  • Peter Erpelding
  • Benjamin Greiber
  • Shane Hewitt
  • Paige Krasnoff
  • Natalie Scott

About 1.6 million students in more than 22,000 high schools entered this year’s competition by taking the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as juniors.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of high school seniors in the United States.

Some 34,000 commended students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2018 competition, commended students placed among the top 50,000 of students taking the qualifying exam.

About 90 percent of the 16,000 semifinalists are expected to become finalists and will be eligible to compete for some 7,500 scholarships worth $32 million.

To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official and earn SAT scores that confirm earlier test performance. Participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received are also considered.

Three types of awards will be offered in 2018. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 scholarships to be awarded on a state representational basis.

In addition, some 230 corporations and business organizations will underwrite about 1,000 corporate-sponsored scholarships for finalists who meet their specified criteria.

About 190 colleges and universities will finance some 4,000 awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in four installments between April and July. These recipients will join more than 330,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Ten Orono High School who achieved commended status in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship competition

The 2018 National Merit Scholarship commended students from Orono High School are, from left: front row – Paige Krasnoff, Ivy Barrett, Natalie Scott and Rachel Constant. Back row – Sonia Driskill, Shane Hewitt, Andrew Baran, Benjamin Greiber, Peter Erpedling and Olivia Eriksson. Kevin Cornelius is not pictured.

Three 2018 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists from Orono High School

The three 2018 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists from Orono High School are, from left, Maria Keller, Alex Berger and Anna Hughes.