Three Scholars Named National Merit Finalists

Three Scholars Named National Merit Finalists
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May 14, 2018—Three Amarillo ISD students are the area’s only finalists for the 2018 National Merit Scholarship program. One of them thus far has gone on to be named a National Merit Scholarship winner.

Amarillo High seniors William Boyce Jr., Luke McKay and Sahithi Tirumala were among the approximately 16,000 semifinalists named by the National Merit Scholarship Program last fall for a Merit Scholarship award. These three scholars then went on to be named finalists in February and are the only students in the Amarillo area to do so for the 2018 program.  Last week, Sahithi Tirumala was named one of 2,500 Merit Scholar designees and awarded a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship. There are additional scholarships to be awarded and those announcements will follow in the coming months.


Each year, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation reviews the PSAT/NMSQT scores of over one million students from across the country. Those students with the highest scores are notified in September of that year that they have qualified for the program as semifinalists. From that group, some 15,000 students are chosen as finalists for the program and are eligible for the chance to win a National Merit Scholarship and the title of Merit Scholar.


The goal of the National Merit Scholarship program is to recognize and honor the academic talents of students in the United States.


“These students are generally in the top 10 percent of their graduating class if not the top two percent,” Cassie Davenport, lead counselor at Amarillo High, said. “They are the type of students who have applied to several Ivy League schools and being a National Merit Finalist sets them apart from their peers during the application review process.


In addition to AISD’s three finalists, several other AISD scholars received the honor of Commended Merit Scholars in the fall. From Amarillo High: Thomas Bales, Thomas Chen, Gabrielle Douthitt, Anthony Harwell, Samuel Laney, Dawson Miller, Rajiv Saralaya, Dzmitry Savitski, Meera Shaw, Kaden Spellmann, and Kincannon Wilson. From Tascosa High School: Thomas Diaz and Jesse Putman.


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