West leads state with 21 National Merit Semifinalists

National Merit Scholarship qualifiers were announced on Wednesday, Sept. 12.


Photo courtesy of Gregg Shoultz

Pictured West High Students (Row 1) Grace Wang, Jenna Zeng, Crystal Kim, Jillian Baker, Lily Meng, Emma Gehlbach, Lydia Guo, Sophia Chen, Yangtian Shangguan, Charles Zheng, Daniel Stewart, William Conrad; (Row 2) Deniz Ince, Robbie Frerichs, Rachel Ding, Hang Sun, Steven Yuan, Carson Baldes; (Row 3) George Liu, Zachary Chackalackal and Ethan Chen.

Crystal Kim, Co-Design Editor

21 West High seniors and 4 City High seniors qualified as Semifinalists for the 2019 National Merit Scholarship on Wednesday, Sept. 12. West High leads the state with the most Semifinalists out of the 143 in the state and 16,000 in the nation.

The Semifinalists were the highest-scoring PSAT/NMSQT test-takers in each state, comprising the nationwide’s top one percent.

West Semifinalists:

  • Jillian Baker
  • Carson Baldes
  • Zachary Chackalackal
  • Ethan Chen
  • Sophia Chen
  • William Conrad
  • Rachel Ding
  • Robbie Frerichs
  • Emma Gehlbach
  • Lydia Guo
  • Deniz Ince
  • Crystal Kim
  • George Liu
  • Lily Meng
  • Yangtian Shangguan
  • Daniel Stewart
  • Hang Sun
  • Grace Wang
  • Steven Yuan
  • Jenna Zeng
  • Charles Zheng

City Semifinalists:

  • Jack Bacon
  • Quinn Kopelman
  • Lillian Prybil
  • Elizabeth Sarsfield

The Semifinalists will go on to compete for the 7,500 National Merit Scholarship awards worth over 32 million dollars. The preliminary requirements for becoming a Finalist include an endorsement and recommendation from their principal, a record of high academic performance and an SAT score that confirms their PSAT/NMSAT score. An essay that details the Semifinalists leadership and involvement in the community is also required. The Finalists will be announced starting in April and concluding in June.