Twenty-one West High students named National Merit Semifinalists

Of the 16,000 students nominated this September as National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists, 37 were area students, and 21 of them were from West High School. Twelve of the 37 students were from City High School and four were from Regina. This year, the Iowa City community had the most senior students reaching semifinalist status in the state.

The students are chosen from 1.5 million high schoolers nation wide to compete in the 58th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. About 8,300 scholarships are awarded each spring, a total of more than 32 million dollars.

West High School had 27 students who were semifiinalists in the 2011-2012 school year, six more than this year. On average, West  has 20-30 semifinalists.

Students must take the PSAT, the qualifying test, to be recognized as semifinalists.

Students, such as Aidan Manaligod, were pleased with their semifinalist status. “I’m really glad to be selected, as it not only reflects high academic achievement, but it also makes me eligible for a lot of scholarship money…I think there are many more people at West who warrant ‘National Merit’ for their achievements, yet they may not have been chosen.”

Semifinalist students from West High include: Uma Balakrishnan, Asya Bergal, Thomas Burrill, Savannah Butler, Michael Chace, Trevor Clinkenbeard, Alexander French, Nathaniel Lovin, Phoebe Low, Joseph Malanson, Aidan Manaligod, Austin Parsons, Margaret Parsons, Cort Pugh, Grant Read, Jordan Rossen, Rachel Ruback, Benjamin Sheff, Elliot Stalter, Eva Thomas and Elizabeth Warren.

By Frannie Rizzo