10 WHS students recognized in National Merit program

The Westlake City School District announced that 10 students at Westlake High School have been recognized in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program, an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships.

Luke Heberle, Rahul Jain, Colt Rujawitz, Macy Sinreich and Kevin Xu have been named as Semifinalists. Evan Cowin, Abigail E. Dumm, Arya S. Parikh, Hannah C. Powers and Sagan D. Woolner were recognized as Commended Students. The students were identified as Commended or Semifinalists based on their Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) scores.

Of the 1.5 million students who took the 2019 PSAT/NMSQT, only 16,000 earned Semifinalist status, putting the five Westlake students in the top 1% of students nationwide. Heberle, Jain, Rujawitz, Sinreich and Xu must submit an application to be named a finalist and continue on in the National Merit Scholarship competition. About 15,000 semifinalists are expected to advance to the finalist level, and more than half of those finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

"To have 10 students recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation is awesome, and all of these students truly deserve to be commended for their academic achievements," said Westlake High School Principal Paul Wilson. "They have worked very hard and have been dedicated to their studies so they all deserve to be recognized. Congratulations to each of them on this tremendous honor!"

Students who achieve finalist status will compete for more than $31 million in scholarship awards. This year, there are three types of National Merit Scholarships that will be awarded. They include 2,500 National Merit Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis, about 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards, and around 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

"I would like to express my sincere congratulations to all 10 Westlake High School students," said Superintendent Dr. Scott Goggin. "They should all be very proud of their accomplishments; I know I am! To the five who will be competing further, we all wish you the best. You deserve to be recognized for your effort, perseverance and determination to succeed in your academic journey!"

The 2021 National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.

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Volume 12, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.20.2020