52 HISD students named National Merit semifinalists

Fifty-two seniors from six Houston Independent School District high schools qualified as semifinalists this week in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The HISD students are among 16,000 from across the country to earn the semifinalist designation, allowing them the opportunity to continue in the academic competition and vie for nearly $33 million in scholarships that will be awarded next year.

The students attend Bellaire, Booker T. Washington, Carnegie Vanguard, and Lamar high schools, DeBakey High School for Health Professions, and the High School for the Performing & Visual Arts.

“I am proud of these students as this level of distinction is a testament of their intellect and hard work,” said HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. “HISD remains focused on ensuring students are college and career ready by providing them with challenging coursework, supportive educators and a commitment to excellence in all our schools.”

The National Merit Scholarship Program provides college scholarships to academically talented U.S. high school students who score well on the Preliminary SAT. Scholarships are provided to students from each state who have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for college success.

Roughly 1.6 million high school juniors from across the country took the 2015 PSAT, which serves as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Less than 1 percent  — or 16,000 students —were named semifinalists. About 15,000 students are expected to advance to the finalist level. Finalists will be announced next year in February, and all National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from the group of finalists.

HISD’s 2016-2017 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists are:

Bellaire High School

Edward D. Cen

Dongha Choi

Anusha De

Jonathan C. Dorsey

Sidharth Eric

Curran R. Han

Laurie Y. He

Anna E. Jorgensen

Venu Kantamani

Aneil Marathi

Oren Pazgal

Hannah Reeves

Michelle Tang

Clarise E. Trinh

Timothy Y. Wei

Aaron Wong

Jonathan D. Zhang

Yijie Zhang

Booker T. Washington High School

Adam J. Capfer

Carnegie Vanguard High School

Stephanie Chang

Ishaan Chatterjee

Elizabeth R. Goodfriend

Amrith Lotlikar

Robert D. Rice

Grace E. Vollmers

Olivia R. Williams

Michael Yang

Sarah K. Yun

DeBakey High School for Health Professions

Ashley P. Dao

Jelani Deajon-Jackson

Sashank Gogula

Jeong Han

Alex L. Jin

Nagendra K. Katta

Maryam B. Khan

Zoe O. Lovelace

Pragya Mishra

Vishnu G. Narayana

Shruti Natarajan

Roma S. Nayyar

Adam V. Nguyen

Andrew Park

Sameer A. Sidiq

Ray T. Wang

Vincent Zhang

High School for the Performing & Visual Arts

Olivia Elmers

Asad M. Khan

Augustin D. Liebster

Jacob R. Miller

Phillip Z. Shen

Bethany G. Vaughan

Lamar High School

Edward J. Swart