More than 30 Wichita-area students named National Merit Semifinalists

More than 30 students within an hour's drive of Wichita stand among approximately 16,000 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists nationwide. The local list includes five students from Wichita East High School, representing Wichita Public Schools.

To begin pursuit of becoming a National Merit Scholarship winner, more than 1.5 million high school juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. They entered the program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test.

"The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state," the National merit Scholarship Corporation says.

To become one of about 15,000 National Merit finalists, semifinalists, with an official form their high school, have to submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information on their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrate leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards.

"A semifinalist must have an outstanding record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores "that confirm the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test," the National Merit Scholarship Corporation says.

Plans call for the announcement of 2020 National Merit Scholarship winners to come with four national news releases, begin in April and ending in July.

At Wichita East High School Wednesday, the school's drum line helped surprise three of the five National Merit semifinalists. This a a tradition at the school to recognize the students on the day the National Merit semifinalist list becomes public.

Becoming a National Merit Scholar is a big honor for may students as it often leads to full-ride scholarships.

"I definitely studied for this test for a hot minute and I'm glad it turned out well," says Wichita East National Merit Semifinalist James Tran.

Fellow Wichita East National Merit Semifinalist Miles O'Neal says advancing to the round of about 16,000 from the field of 1.5 million puts him in position to be "a little less stressed about (his) college-application process."

About half of the approximate yet-to-be-announced 15,000 National Merit finalists, will win the National Merit Scholarship and with it earn competitive scholarships. More than 100 students statewide represent Kansas as National Merit semifinalists. This includes the count slightly eclipsing 30 in the Wichita area.

WICHITA AREA NATIONAL MERIT SEMIFINALISTS

ANDOVER
ANDOVER CENTRAL H. S.
Robles, Steven G.
Snyder, Elizabeth A.
Steiner, Ganon S.
Young, Briauna I.

ANDOVER H. S.
Baxter, Camden Z.
Fairback, Israel D.
950 Hauck, Keane A.

DERBY
DERBY H. S.
Busey, Garrett A.

GODDARD
EISENHOWER H. S.
Jacobsen, Carl A.
Whitehill, Richard M

MAIZE
MAIZE H. S.
Axmann, Lucy J.

MAIZE SOUTH H. S.
Pritchard, Ashley E.
Tung, Jillian K.

MCPHERSON
MC PHERSON H. S.
Frantz, Landon J

WICHITA
BISHOP CARROLL CATHOLIC H. S.
Hauge, Augustine F.

KAPAUN MOUNT CARMEL
CATHOLIC H. S.
Cosgrove, Ryan P.
Elliott, Thomas A.
Moore, Margaret
Truong, Ethan D.

TRINITY ACADEMY
Mathews, Lauren E.

WICHITA COLLEGIATE SCHOOL
Brake, Benjamin D.
Do Orozco, Isabella L.
Highbarger, Justin P.
Rai, Hannah V.
Salemi, Max M.

WICHITA H. S. EAST
Barfield, Edward T.
Baskins, Jacob D.
Coleman, Madeleine G.
O'Neal, Miles P.
Tran, James B

WELLINGTON
WELLINGTON H. S.
Lough, Mason W.

WINFIELD
WINFIELD H. S.
Woodburn, Elena G