Eight more HISD students win National Merit Scholarships

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has announced this year’s $2,500 National Merit Scholarship winners, and eight HISD students are among them.

They winners from HISD schools are: Tianxiu Chen and Marina Finley (Bellaire HS); Brett Gu (Carnegie Vanguard HS); Xiaoyi Dou, Zachary Kortum, Teresa Lee, and Poornima Tamma (DeBakey HS); and Claudia Heymach (High School of Performing and Visual Arts).

Gu, Lee, and Heymach are also the valedictorians of their respective classes. You can read more about them here.

The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 finalists by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools.

Students were judged on the basis of their academic records, including the difficulty of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; a written essay; and a recommendation from a high school official.

This is the second group of students to receive awards in 2015 through the National Merit Scholarship Program. On April 22, about 1,000 recipients of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards were named, and on May 27 and July 13, some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners will be announced. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 7,600 academic champions will have won National Merit Scholarships worth approximately $34 million.