Twenty-five Wichita-area students were named semifinalists Wednesday in the National Merit Scholarship competition.
Only five of the semifinalists attend Wichita public schools – four from East High and one from Northeast Magnet – about half the number the district has had the past several years.
Five of the semifinalists attend Wichita Catholic high schools. Four of the semifinalists attend Andover Central High School in Andover; three attend Derby High; and three attend Wichita Collegiate, a private school.
Once again, the Blue Valley school district in northeast Kansas boasted the highest number of National Merit semifinalists in the state this year, with 53.
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Students become semifinalists by taking the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test during their junior year and scoring in the top one-half of 1 percent in the state.
Nationwide, about 16,000 students were named semifinalists. About 15,000 are expected to achieve finalist status based on other requirements, such as academic skills, extracurricular accomplishments and an essay.
Finalists will compete next spring for 2,500 National Merit Scholarships of $2,500. Scholarship winners will be announced in the spring.
National Merit semifinalists from the Wichita area:
▪ Andover Central High – Kaitlyn Cowen, Alexander Engels, Amanda Perez, Connor Sutton
▪ Augusta High – Jacob Lewellen
▪ Bishop Carroll – Kian Farley, Lindsay Smith
▪ Derby High – Paige Davis, Quinn Meyer, Skyler Sprecker
▪ Goddard High – Trevon Tatum
▪ Independent School – Alessandrea Stancin
▪ Kapaun Mount Carmel – Joseph Hathaway, Thanh Pham, An Vu
▪ Maize High – Sophia Shaar
▪ Maize South High – Brodie Gullic
▪ Wichita Collegiate – Jacob Bendell, Christopher Harris, Ahmed Mahomed
▪ Wichita East – Anuragini Arora, Tanvi Karmarkar, Kassandra Le-Huynh, Andrew Wertheimer
▪ Wichita Northeast Magnet – Corbin Prichard
Each year for the past five years, the Wichita district has had at least nine National Merit semifinalists, with the majority hailing from East High’s International Baccalaureate program. Last year, East High had 10 semifinalists.