National Merit Semifinalists Announced

September 12, 2012

Twenty Punahou seniors are semifinalists in the 2013 National Merit® Scholarship Program, having earned qualifying scores that place them among the top 1 percent of high-school seniors nationwide.

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The program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

Last year, the 20 Punahou students were among about 1.5 million juniors at 22,000 high schools nationwide who entered the competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen. They are among 16,000 semifinalists nationwide, representing the highest-scoring entrants from each state. They now have the opportunity to compete for 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth a total of more than $32 million, which will be awarded next spring.

Punahou’s semifinalists gathered in the Sullivan Boardroom to celebrate, receiving congratulations from President Jim Scott ’70, Academy Principal Kevin Conway, deans and college counselors. All gathered commended the students for their commitment and dedication and wished them well as the scholarship competition continues.

“We are so very proud of these Punahou seniors and their selection as National Merit Semifinalists,” Senior Dean Lynne Tsuda ’74 said as the results were publicly announced on Sept. 12, 2012. “This achievement is a reflection of the education, lessons learned and support they have received over many years from their teachers and their families. We celebrate this honor and take pride in all their accomplishments.”

To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, earn SAT scores that confirm the results of the qualifying test and submit a detailed application including an essay and information about school and community activities. Finalists will be notified in February 2013; scholarship winners chosen from among the finalists will be announced beginning next spring.

Congratulations to Punahou’s 2013 semifinalists: Matthew Buck, Caryn Devaney, Tyler Egami, Michael Han, Kristin Hirata, Elizabeth Ito, Jordan Kondo, Evan Lin, Philip Lin, Zhengyuan Ma, Christopher Mooney, Emile Oshima, Colin Pating, Cassidy Patmont, Zachary Puetz, Sean Rodan, Malia Smith, Ezra Varady, Charles Wong and Megan Zerez.

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