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The names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 54th annual National Merit Scholarship Program were announced by officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (MNSC). These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,200 Merit Scholarship awards, worth $35 million, that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must advance to the finalist level of the competition by fulfilling several requirements. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will be selected as merit scholarship winners, earning the Merit Scholar title.

Established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Program, NMSC is a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. Scholarships awarded through the program are underwritten by NMSC's own funds and approximately 500 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC's goals of honoring the nation's scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

Schreiber High School is proud to announce that four members of the senior class have been designated as National Merit Semifinalists. These members of the Class of 2009 include:

Christine M. Bowles

Melis Emre

Amalia M. Hawkins

Alexandra M. Hohauser

To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student's earlier qualifying test performance. The semifinalist and a school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student's self-descriptive essay and information about the semifinalist's participation and leadership in school and community activities.

"We are extremely proud," commented Dr. Geoffrey N. Gordon, superintendent of schools, "that once again Schreiber High School students have achieved outstanding results in the National Merit competition. In this case, with increasing demographics nationwide, the competition was extremely difficult and required truly outstanding results to qualify. Special commendations go to the four semifinalists and their families. I am optimistic that the 'best is yet to come' in Port Washington!"

Mr. Jay Lewis, principal of Schreiber High School, commented that, "These young men and women have consistently distinguished themselves as scholars and exemplary members of the Schreiber school community. Not only have they taken coursework at the highest levels, but they are active school citizens who participate in many co-curricular, athletic, and community activities. We are very proud of all of them."

On the national level, approximately 15,000 semifinalists will advance to the finalist level and it is from this group that all Merit Scholarship winners will be chosen. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.


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