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DSHS seniors named National Merit Semifinalists

By Megan Wehring

 DRIPPING SPRINGS – Eight Dripping Springs High School (DSHS) seniors were named National Merit Semifinalists in the 68th annual program.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955 – and approximately 1.5 million high school students enter the program each year.

High school students who meet published program entry and participation requirements, which can be found on the National Merit Scholarship Corporation website, enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) at the specified time in the high school program, usually as juniors. Each year’s PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test designated for entry to a particular year’s competition. 

For example, the 2021 PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test for entry to the competition for scholarships to be awarded in 2023, according to the corporation. The 2022 PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test for entry to the competition for scholarships to be awarded in 2024.

Registration for the test is by high school rather than individual student. Interested students should see their counselor at the beginning of the school year to make arrangements to take the PSAT/NMSQT at the school in the fall.

Semifinalists, who represent less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors, were the highest-scoring students on the 2021 PSAT/NMSQT.

DSHS students earning the prestigious recognition are Teresa Brod, Evelyn Chis, Michael Goertz, Bailey Inglish, Maxwell Ingram, Shaun Kurian, Nicholas Misko and Kinsey Silcox. The eight Semifinalists surpassed the previous DSHS record of five that was set in 2016. 

From over 16,000 semifinalists, more than 15,000 students are expected to advance to the Finalist level, which will be announced in February 2023. 

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

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

About Author

Megan Navarro (formerly Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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