4 FHN Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

By Jake Chiarelli

On Thursday, Sept. 10, at 10 a.m. FHN Head Principal Andy Downs and Associate Principal Katie Greer made an announcement to the administration and

The 4 Semifinalists after being recognized by administration. (photo by mckenzie shea)
The 4 Semifinalists after being recognized by administration. (photo by mckenzie shea)

guidance staff that there were 4 FHN students named 2014 National Merit Semifinalists. Seniors Tim Xiang, Daniel Bodden, Emily Coonrad, and Adam Cole were all named Semifinalists. Students qualify as Semifinalists based on their scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

“I think’s it’s phenomenal that we have so many students chosen,” Downs said. “It’s quite an accomplishment, and I couldn’t be prouder.”

The competition is organized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. About 1.5 million students take the qualifying test each year. Students usually take the test as juniors. According to the NMSC website, about 16,000 students are announced as semifinalists in September. Later, in February, around 15,000 of those semifinalists are chosen as finalists. Finalists qualify to be winners of Merit Scholarship® Awards.

“I feel honored,” Xiang said. “It’s a big deal, and I’m very happy. It’s good for my future.”

8,000 finalists in February have a chance to be winners of several different types of scholarships, including a scholarship for 4 years of undergraduate study, or cash awards. 1,200 participants who are not selected as finalists still have the chance to win corporate scholarships.

“I think it’s fabulous that we have this many students recognized.” Greer said.