Fifty-six seniors from six different HISD high schools are among the semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship program.  These students will have the opportunity to compete for more than 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

“The National Merit Scholarship Program has a long tradition of excellence,” said HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. “We are extremely proud of these students being recognized nationally for their academic achievements.  Their accomplishments are a testament to their dedication and hard work.”

To be considered for this scholarship program, about 1.5 million high school juniors took the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship qualifying test. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, about 16,000 students, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

The selected semifinalist students are from the following HISD high schools: Bellaire High School, Carnegie Vanguard High School, DeBakey High School for Health Professions, the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Lamar High School, and Westside High School.

The 2013 National Merit Scholarship Winners will be announced starting in April 2013.

National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists


                                                 Bellaire High School                                

Andrew M. Alter                                                          Anneliese M. Gest

Lindsey D. Alter                                                          Sarah K. Godwin

Halla Bearden                                                              Carrie X. Jiang

Christina M. Breitbeil                                                   Vivek Kantamani

Kevin Chen                                                                 Zara Khan

Blaine A. Cole                                                             Joseph C. Lau

Andrei V. Didenko                                                      Kirby J. Ledvina

Xinghua Dou                                                               Benjamin Liu

Molly G. Dyer                                                             Jacqueline H. Luo

Peter O. Elmers                                                            Aaron J. Mao

Katherine Fang                                                             Helen S. Mazella

Alexander Franshaw                                                    Alexander L. Mo

Garland R. Gay                                                            Adarsh Nednur

Willis Nguy                                                                  Yulan L. Shih

Amanda K. Pevehouse                                                Jun Ling Tao

Holly S. Reichert                                                         Edward D. Yun

Diana T. Ruan


                                        Carnegie Vanguard High School

Kiera M. Brown                                                           William J. Larsen

Sam M. Dietrich                                                            Jonathan E. Vincent

Daniel Dreyfuss

                              DeBakey High School for Health Professions

Shannon E. Ahmed                                                      Tariq A. Patanam

Mohammad F. Bilal                                                     Tiffany Pham

Anchit R. Khanna                                                        Smruti Rath

Jeremiah M. Lee                                                          Kristen L. Thompson

Nathalie C. Meremikwu                                               Serene R. Yu

                                  High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

Josef M. Lamell                                                            Palmer L. Mills

Auburn H. Lee                                                             Jyron Walls

Amy Mattox

Lamar High School

Ashley Alcantara                                                         Angela Chang


Westside High School

Konstantinos K. Varvarezos


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