Eight Mamaroneck High School seniors were selected this week as Semifinalists in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program competition,
which recognizes about 16,000 students across the country as Semifinalists among a pool of 1.5 million juniors who took the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).
Mamaroneck’s National Merit Semifinalists are: Matthew Bialo, Yuan Feng, Isabel Genecin, Stephanie Li, Gabriel Samach, Luke Schanz-Garbassi, Emily Semaya and Juliet Welcome.
Interim MHS Principal John Goetz called all of the students down to his office yesterday to deliver the exciting news as a surprise. “Congratulations! You are here because of your extraordinary academic accomplishments, and we are very proud of all of you. Receiving this prestigious honor means that your scores on the PSAT were in the top 1 percent of the nation,” Goetz said. “We know how hard working and dedicated you all are.”
Students who received the Semifinalist designation this year will compete next spring for 8,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $36 million. Semifinalists needed to achieve a PSAT/NMSQT selection index score of 214 or greater.
To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. Approximately 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and about half will win a National Merit Scholarship based on their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
Semifinalists and a school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes a student essay and information about the semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities. Finalists will be announced in February.
Debbie Manetta is public information officer for the Mamaroneck Public Schools.