35 National Merit Semifinalists at Manual


Thomas Simmons

Thirty-five Manual students made the National Merit Scholarship Corporation‘s latest list of National Merit Semifinalists, announced on Wednesday, Sept. 13.

The honor is based on student scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test from last fall.

The organization also named six other JCPS students as semifinalists.

According to Manual’s principal, Gerald Mayes, the number of students each year is something the school is always proud of.

Mayes said that this year’s number would have been higher, but the National Merit organization raises the goal each year.

But, he added, “the most important thing to me is, are you doing the very best that you can possibly do?”

Suggestions from semifinalists

Megan Wang (12, MST) felt both excited and grateful after she found out that she was part of the list.

“It validated my hard work in preparing for the PSAT,” Wang said.

Megan suggested that students become more familiar with the test format in order to feel more comfortable answering the questions. Sample tests are available on Khan Academy and elsewhere online.

Caroline Foshee (12, J&C) was glad to receive National Merit because of the potential college opportunities.

“Seeing that got me more excited and less nervous for the college process,” Foshee said.

Both students agreed that cramming the night before does not help, and even causes more harm than benefit. Relaxing for the day prior to the test, getting good sleep, and eating breakfast are better for test-takers.

Full list of Manual’s National Merit Semifinalists

Front row, left to right: Amy Medley (counselor), Annie Zhang, Riti Pathak, Camille Rougier, Megan Wang, Saralee Renick, Lindsey Lapinski, Harshini Serbaseti, Jobi Jose, Marty Johnston (counselor)
Second row, left to right: Shelby Young, Haley Richter, Priyadarshini Chandrashekhar, Lucy Suo, Joshua Olliges, Caroline Foshee, Alice Deters, Amit Sahoo, Micah Herndon.
Third row, left to right: Kevin Fowler (YPAS counselor), Will Morgan, Emily Clark, Madison Sneve, Ryan Hassel, Brandon Huff, Ben Jiang, Anirudh Adavi, Charles Im, Principal Jerry Mayes.
Back row, left to right: Govind Krishna, Spencer Thompson, Sophie Lai, Alec Adamov, Greg Schwartz, Elijah Shina, Luke Sheridan-Rabideau, David Qiu, Alan Pascua, Tanner Bielefeld-Pruitt.