National Merit Scholar Semifinalists Recognized

Punahou Communications Staff

September 10, 2015

Twenty-one students from Punahou’s senior class were selected as 2016 National Merit Scholar Semifinalists given their high placement on the Preliminary SAT, a national exam. Semifinalists represent less than one percent of high school seniors in the country, and Punahou’s merit scholar contenders represent nearly one-third of the total Semifinalists in the state.


“Congratulations on your achievement,” said President Jim Scott to the 21 Semifinalists, who had gathered in the Sullivan Administration Boardroom. They celebrated their achievements with caramel cuts and guidance on how to apply for the scholarship program. “Remember to stay humble,” Scott advised the group, underscoring the schoolwide theme of me ka ha‘aha‘a (humility).

Academy Principal Emily McCarren noted: “You are here because your parents cared about your education, your classmates have challenged you, and your teachers have created an environment for you to succeed.”

Semifinalists may apply to become a Finalist in the program by undergoing a rigorous application process that includes an endorsement from a high school official, a written essay and further achievement on standardized tests. The students must also submit a history of their academic records, participation in community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and/or awards received.

Punahou’s 2016 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists are: Michael Chen, Allisen Corpuz, Bobby Do, Nicholas Gardetto, Theodore Huo, Cassandra Ingram, Arthur Johnston, Kassidy Kanja, Mark Klein, Forest Kobayashi, Serena Le, Thomas Mahon, Kelly Marshall, Emily McKenna, Andrew Moore, Kaile‘a Moseley, Ryan Ogasawara, Daniel Ota, Hyeon-Jae Seo, Maia Shideler and Evan Uyeno.


  • 9/10/2015 9:52:05 PM

    Emily, we are so very proud of you. You are as beautiful and talented as always. The McKenna family is happy to call you one of their own. – Auntie Sharon

  • 9/11/2015 2:14:56 AM

    Emily, what a great accomplishment! Just want you to know that in addition to many in Hawai‘i and Idaho, your grandfather Fritz (Frederick J.) McKenna would, in my honest opinion, be near the head of the line with CONGRATULATIONS! Lots of love and pride from all of us... keep up the good work! – Uncle Mike

  • 9/12/2015 4:18:29 AM

    Way to go Emily Mckenna Yamashiro! We are proud of you! – Love Auntie Sue & Uncle Tom

  • 9/15/2015 12:48:22 AM

    Forest, we are thrilled to hear and read of this achievement! Congratulations and have a great senior year! – Joyce and Dana

    • 9/28/2015 10:15:42 AM

      Congratulations, Kelly. Tracy and I are so very proud of you.

  • 9/27/2015 10:53:45 PM

    Way to go Kelly!! I knew you could do it - just like Yorky said in kindergarten, keep reaching for those stars!! love, Mom

  • 9/28/2015 5:32:38 AM

    We're so proud of you, y

  • 9/28/2015 12:50:18 PM

    You embody akamai with ha'a ha'a, because of the aloha within you. We couldn't be more excited for your future. GEEV 'UM, BRUDDAH!
    Uncle Mike & Auntie Christine

  • 10/2/2015 2:24:13 PM

    Way to go Kelly!! I knew you could do it - just like Yorky said in kindergarten, keep reaching for those stars!! love, Mom – Karen Christenson


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