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Seven Northwest ISD students named National Merit Semifinalists

Seven Northwest ISD students named National Merit Semifinalists

Northwest ISD is proud to announce and recognize seven high school seniors who have been named National Merit Semifinalists in the 2023 annual competition. 

Steele Early College High School senior Divijasri Anuga and Byron Nelson High School seniors Jordan Brooks, Kendall Grube, Andrew Mass, Jason Nguyen, Mari-Joe Vogtembing and Karen Zhou have been selected among approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These talented seniors will have an opportunity to advance in the competition for nearly 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth approximately $28 million that will be offered next spring. About 95 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to achieve finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the title of Merit Scholar.

Divijasri Anuga, Steele Early College High School

“The hard work and dedication that these students exemplify are remarkable,” said Dr. Michael Griffin, acting superintendent of Northwest ISD. “We are so proud of their commitment to excellence and the achievements they have earned.”

Jordan Brooks, Kendall Grube, Andrew Mass, Jason Nguyen, Mari-Joe Vogtembing and Karen Zhou (not pictured), Byron Nelson High School

High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. 

Approximately 15,000 Semifinalists are expected to advance to the Finalist level, where all National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected. The final winners will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning April and concluding in July. 

34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation were also recognized for their outstanding academic achievements. These students placed among the top 50,000 students who entered the 2023 competition by taking the 2021 PSAT/NMSC, but do not continue in the 2023 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards. Northwest ISD would like to recognize the following as Commended Students:

Byron Nelson High School:

Zachary J. Barrow

Jeremy D. Bennikutty

Kayla M. Brownell

Luchiano G. Fernando

Colin A. Kirchhoff

Sebastian M. Kravutske

Nayon lee

Yune S. Lee

Campbell G. Love

Patrick G. Maher

Margaret R. McHenry

Yashica S. Sadam

Caitrin N. Zenkner

V.R. Eaton High School:

Caleb Bland

Benjamin Carter

Connor Henk

Sydney Lopez  

Northwest High School: 

Lauren Durbin

Logan Jayo

Molly Johanson

Jaden Michels

Alexander Miller

James O’Connor

Elianna Stamps

William Thornell

To learn more about the National Merit Scholarship Program, please visit