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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Highlands' Students Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists


Highlands High School seniors Maria Broering, Hiren Lemma and August Hug have been named Semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. Additionally, Highlands had six commended students: Sawyer Depp, Adam Groneck, Austin Hyder, Benjamin Morrison, Zoe Poff and Mehryn Toole.

When asked to tell a little about themselves and their future aspirations, our semifinalists shared goals for their futures. Their experiences at Highlands have helped position them for future success.


Maria Broering – “I am a captain of the varsity soccer team, secretary of the Math Honor Society, and a member of NHS, FCCLA, NEHS, and Spanish Club. I have committed to play soccer at Ball State University and will major in dietetics in order to become a registered dietitian."

Hiren Lemma – “I am the vice-president of the Class of 2020 and co-president of the National Math Honor Society, and I am the principal 2nd violinist in the Highlands Chamber Orchestra. I hope to major in psychology for my undergraduate and eventually attend law school to become a criminal prosecutor.”

August Hug – “I run varsity cross-country and track at Highlands and am in the National Honor Society. I'm applying to U of L, Dayton, and Purdue and I plan on majoring in mechanical engineering.

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.


In September, these high scorers are notified through their schools that they have qualified as either a commended student or semifinalist. More than two-thirds receive letters of commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise, and approximately one-third are notified that they have qualified as semifinalists. 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. By achieving National Merit Finalist standing, students qualify for significant college scholarships.

The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships established in 1955. For more information about the competition, please visit NMSC’s website at www.nationalmerit.org.

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