From left, front row, GPS students Sophie Veys, Tatiana Poggi, Kate Thel, and Margaret Lim. Back row, from left, McCallie students Chase Gaume, Gavin LaPlace, Andrew Landsbergen, Allen Liu, Jaewon Sung, and Ahmad Nisar.
Girls Preparatory School and McCallie School announce 10 semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship program.
Chattanooga-area residents attending GPS, seniors Margaret Lim, Tatiana Poggi, Kathryn “Kate” Thel, and Sophie Veys, join McCallie boarding students Chase Gaume, Andrew Landsbergen, Gavin LaPlace, and Jaewon Sung along with day students Allen Liu and Ahmad Nisar as 10 of the approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide achieving this honor.
"These students represent the outstanding level of scholarship that is a hallmark of these schools," says Kenny Sholl, McCallie School assistant headmaster. "The hard work of these young people combined with the efforts of outstanding teachers has paid off for these students who represent the very highest levels of academic achievement."
As recognized academically talented high school seniors, these students will continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million to be awarded spring 2018. Approximately 90 percent of semifinalists will attain finalist standing; about half of the finalists go on to win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the title of Merit Scholar.
“The GPS community is so proud of these four young women who have been recognized by the National Merit Program for their academic abilities,” says Dr. Autumn Graves, GPS head of school. “Their selection represents the culmination of many years of dedication to their academic growth and is a testament to their natural gifts, sense of curiosity, and hard work. In partnership with their families, GPS provides an environment that nurtures their talents and helps them become the best version of themselves.”
Semifinalists represent fewer than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and include the highest-scoring entrants in each state. A semifinalist must also have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by his or her high school official, submit an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the PSAT.
About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools nationwide entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as an initial screen of program entrants. Finalists will be announced in February 2018; National Merit Scholarships awards will follow in the spring.