50 HISD students named 2019 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

Students will have opportunity to compete for more than $31 million in scholarships 

Fifty seniors from eight Houston Independent School District high schools have earned one of the top academic honors in the nation by qualifying as semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The students attend Bellaire, Carnegie Vanguard, Lamar and Westside high schools, DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston Academy for International Studies, Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and Sharpstown International School.

The 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 more than $31 million in scholarships that will be awarded next spring.

“To be recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program is a very unique honor,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “This acknowledgment is a reflection not only of the hard work and commitment of our incredible students, but also of the quality and caliber of our teachers and staff, who have a direct impact on student learning.”

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.

Over 1.6 million juniors from about 22,000 high schools across the country took the 2017 PSAT, which serves as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Fewer than one percent — or about 16,000 students — were named as semifinalists.

About 15,000 students are expected to advance to the finalist level in February.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered to winners in the spring of 2019:  National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, corporate-sponsored scholarships and college-sponsored scholarships. This year’s HISD semifinalists are listed below by school.

Bellaire High School

  • Sehun Joo
  • Leah A. Kincaid
  • Annie J. Lu
  • Michelle J. Miao
  • Alice Y. Qiu
  • Gavin M. Rees
  • Tessora E. Stefan
  • Allen Wang
  • Annabelle T. Wang
  • James Z. Wei
  • Dorothy T. Zhan
  • Patrick Zhang

Carnegie Vanguard High School

  • Andrew C. Alexander
  • David H. Cheek
  • Charlene T. Huang
  • Jack W. Lawter
  • Richard A. Lin
  • Manith N. Luthria
  • Shilpita Mitra-Behura
  • Zoe E. Nanson
  • Zainab N. Niaz
  • Meredith G. Spiller
  • Christina Y. Wang
  • Matthew W. Yen

DeBakey High School for Health Professions

  • Sugat Borthakur
  • Angeleana S. Chan
  • Emily Y. Do
  • Sindhuri Ivaturi
  • Anna M. Konvicka
  • Jennifer S. Lin
  • Lisa H. Lin
  • Anuraag R. Madabushi
  • Vishreshta B. Pathak
  • Kala T. Pham
  • Daanish S. Sheikh
  • Tai W. Van
  • Pranooha Veeramachaneni
  • Lucy Y. Zhang

Houston Academy for International Studies

  • Mariana G. Mercado

Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts 

  • Ewan J. Curtis
  • Deena Fahed
  • Margaret E. Fair
  • Vi T. Nguyen
  • Eliza C. Pillsbury
  • Sofia Puccio

Lamar High School

  • Rohini K. Chahal
  • Alexia D. Ivan
  • Rebecca M. Zivley

Sharpstown International School

  • Claire E. Betzer

Westside High School

  • Justin ​Shih