West announces 2021 National Merit Semifinalists

Thirty students from West were selected for this honor.

Maggie Huang, Online News Editor

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Between the three high schools in the district, 39 seniors have earned this honor. In order to be selected, students have to be among the top one percent of students nationwide on the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

West High Interim Principal Mitch Gross announced that West High broke the state record with 30 Semifinalists this year.

The following 30 West High seniors have been declared as Semifinalists:

Paras Bassuk

Amol Bhagavathi

Paul Cremer

Timothy Cui

Connor Curtiss

Nathaniel Deyak

Nathan A Gall

Ann D Gao

Brenda Gao

Jenny Y Geng

Tamara Hamzeh

Catherine Hoefer

Mohan Kumar

Jim Li

Amy Liao

Andy Lu

Kevin Lu

Alice Meng

Nina Meng

Dominic Rutkowski

Ananth Shyamal

Divya Shyamal

Matthew Steinbronn

Quincy Tate

Vladimir Tivanski

Niyati Vyas

Alexander Wang

Lucy Westemeyer

Omkar Yadav

Taejune Yoon

These academically gifted students will continue in the competition for $30 million worth of Merit Scholarship awards offered next spring. To be considered, students must advance to the Finalist level of the competition. The Semifinalist and a high school official are required to submit a detailed application, including the student’s academic record, activities, leadership abilities, employment, and honors received.

These seniors must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be recommended by a school official, and write an essay. Around 15,000 of the Semifinalists are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and the winners will be chosen from this group.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2021 will be announced in four nationwide news releases starting in April and ending in July. These scholarship award recipients will join more than 353,000 other distinguished seniors who have earned the Merit Scholar title.