Vandegrift Viper senior scholars receive recognition

Vandegrift’s National Merit and National Hispanic Scholars combined.

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

Vandegrift has a number of seniors in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program based on their outstanding performances on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Sixteen Viper students are National Merit Semifinalists, 40 are National Merit Commended Scholars, and 15 are National Hispanic Scholars. 

“Recognition as a National Merit Scholar is a prestigious, academic accolade,” said Christa Thompson-Martin, dean of instruction at VHS. “By sharing this distinguished achievement with college admissions, our students are set apart in a deep pool of applicants.”

Thompson-Martin said that the benefits of scoring well can be significant.

“Our Viper alum have been awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships all the way to full-rides to universities across the country on merit of becoming a National Merit Finalist and National Hispanic Scholar,” she said.

Nationwide, there are approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. 

According to the National Merit Scholarship Corp., these academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered this spring. 

About 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.  

Viper students who qualified as National Merit Semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors who scored a 221 or higher on the PSAT they took their junior year.  

Vandegrift’s National Merit Commended Scholars are students who placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.6 million students for more than 22,000 high schools who entered the National Merit competition by taking the PSAT in the fall of their junior year.

VHS also celebrates its National Hispanic Scholars who were identified through the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program. This program identifies academically outstanding Hispanic/Latino high school students on their PSAT performance. Each year, the program honors 5,000 of the highest-scoring students from over 250,000 Hispanic/Latino seniors who ranked among the highest on their junior year PSAT. 

The scholarly Vipers were recognized during halftime at the Nov. 9 football game.

“We are so proud of their hard work and dedication to academics,” Thompson-Martin said.

National Merit Commended Scholars

ALEXIS SPINETTA

AMBER NGUYEN

AMELIA NICKERSON

ANDREW YANG

AUDREY RIDDELL

BIKRAM SINGH

CAMPBELL PIERCE

CARLYN PRESLEY

DAVID COX

DEVAN DHOLAKIA

DRUV MURTHY

E CHING RYAN LEUNG

ERIK LUEHRMANN

FIONA BROWN

HONGTAN PAN

HOWARD NOLAN

ISABELLE KING

ISABELLE PETERSEN

ISHIKA PURI

JESSICA LUO

JONATHAN LOR

JORDAN MATHIS

JULIA YORK

KEETON FIELD

LEAH GILBERT

MARGARET MCELMURRY

MIA THOMPSON

MINDY VAN

NOAH ACEVEDO

NOAH COLLINS

NURIVAN GOMEZ

PRANJAL BISHNOI

REBECCA BATES

REKHA RICHTERMEYER

RILEY FRANCIS

ROSHAN DESAI

RYAN KUTZ

SARAH TIERNEY

SHELBY CUMINGS

TUCKER GEORGE

National Merit Semifinalists

AVINASH GUPTA

BRIDGET LI

CAITLYN HARMON

CELIA HANDING

DARIA FONTANI HERREROS

EESHA PATEL

ISABELLE GRIMESEY

MATTHEW RISNER

PIERCE LAI

RENA LIANG

SAMANTHA KELLOGG

SIDDHARTH VENKATRAMAN

EIERRA HELD

SPANDANA KAMEPALLI

SUMMER ELY

SYDNEY SUTHAR

National Hispanic Scholars

ALLISON Y OSORIO

BERNARDO CONTERNO

DARIA FONTANI HERREROS

DAVID COX

ERIC NUNES

GATIENNE RODRIGUEZ

ISRAEL RAMIREZ II

ISABELLE GRIMESEY

JULIA ROBERTO

LUCA LABARDINI

PIERCE LAI

NATHANAEL SAAVEDRA

NINA CASTANEDA

NOAH ACEVEDO

NURIVAN GOMEZ

National Merit Semifinalists National Hispanic Scholars
National Merit Commended Scholars
National Hispanic Scholars