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Central students recognized as national merit scholar semifinalists

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Photo source: Naperville District 203

Photo source: Naperville District 203

Photo source: Naperville District 203

Jasmine Zhang, Correspondent

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On Sept. 12, 23 seniors from Naperville Central High School were recognized as National Merit Scholar Semifinalists from the class of 2019.

Over 1.6 million students from more than 22,000 high schools applied for the achievement by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT (PSAT)/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). Out of those students, only 16,000 were recognized as semifinalists in the entire nation, representing less than 1% of the high school seniors in the nation.

These distinguished students from Naperville Central are: Alexa Bukowski, Daniel Clepper, Therese Deutsch, Prateek Dullur, Erin Fang, Katherine Ho, Ria Jha, Patrick Koh, Katherine Krupicka, Kenneth Li, Adarsh Mattu, Saagar Moradia, Ganesan Narayanan, Naraen Palanikumar, Shoshanna Perchanok, Jack Reicherts, James Royal, Ammaar Saeed, Lucy Schmid, Justas Stankevicius, Emma Susin, Alex Trickey and Max Walts.

According to Principal William Wiesbrook, it’s a combination of the opportunities that the school offers the students to push themselves and the student’s hard work that results in the recognition.

He believes that the school has helped students to achieve the award through high-quality learning experiences such as having a curriculum that aligns with the SAT, especially in core classes. Overall, Principal Wiesbrook wants the school to inspire students to pursue academic success.  

“More often than not, rigorous classes contribute to those high scores,” Wiesbrook said.

Semifinalist, Katherine Ho, has acknowledged the valuable skills that she has gained from classes.

“You have to work hard in school, as building up academic skills also builds up standardized testing skills.” said Ho.

Both Wiesbrook and Ho have also addressed the individual effort that has gone into the award.

“These students, typically have transcripts filled with A’s, which is a sign of dedication and commitment, and effort and motivation, ingredients that often go along with success,” Wiesbrook said.

Ho has acknowledged her personal effort in the process. She found that studying for the ACT and SAT was useful for the PSAT.  

“It’s all part of a final push for college applications, so I might as well put in the effort,” Ho said.

National Merit Scholar offers $41 million dollars worth of scholarships for students who participate in their program. All of the National Merit Scholar Semifinalists are eligible to apply  become a National Merit Scholar Finalist and half of the finalists are eventually recognized as Merit Scholarship winners. Merit Scholarship winners are able to receive National Merit $2500 Scholarships, corporate sponsored scholarships and college sponsored scholarships.

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