Arcadia and Pasadena High School Students Selected as Scholarship Semi-Finalists

Arcadia High School has 23 National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists – Courtesy photo / InSapphoWeTrust (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The National Merit Scholarship Program announced approximately 16,000 high school semi-finalists yesterday, with 40 of them coming from the Arcadia and Pasadena school districts.

The Arcadia school district has 23 semi-finalists coming from Arcadia High School. The remaining 17 semi-finalists are from the Pasadena school district: one from La Salle High School, two from Maranatha High School, one from John Marshall Fundamental School, nine from Polytechnic School, one from Sequoya School and three from Westridge School.

Below is a list of semi-finalists:


Arcadia High School

  • Atasoy, Ailin
  • Basinger, Geoffrey L.
  • Chang, Margaret
  • Chen, Jessie J.
  • Cheng, Lucia S.
  • Frame, Dean A.
  • Hooper, Estelle H.
  • Huang, Michael
  • Huang, Victor W.
  • Ke, Jason
  • Liang, Michelle A.
  •  Liu, Isabella B.
  •  Luu, Ivan Y.
  • Maung, Kelvin L.
  • Mohandoss, Grace N.
  • Qi, Jennifer
  •  Shue, William
  •  Silla, Anusha
  •  Song, John M.
  • Tan, Kevin
  •  Wang, Ryan
  • Ye, Sean
  • Yu, Gabriela Z.


La Salle High School

  • Schoenbaum, Gwyneth J.

Maranatha High School

  • De Guzman, Erica M.
  • Peng, Matthew Z.

John Marshall Fundamental School

  • Bronkar, Jerry R.

Polytechnic School

  • Cornwell, Elizabeth J.
  • Grossman, Eli
  • Guerra, Olivia I.
  • Kim, Matthew J.
  • Lee, Annette
  • Macleod, Ian D.
  • Maechling, Elizabeth S.
  • Mantle, Desmond V.
  • Oreck, Harper R.
  • Sequoyah School
  • Siskel, Louise D.

Westridge School

  • Rossi, Iyla P.
  • Schlageter, Frances R.
  • Zareno, Kaitlreno, Kaitlin W.

These high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semi-finalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

To become a finalist, the semi-finalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A semi-finalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit

Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists. 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.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2019. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 230 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 410 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.

September 12, 2018

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