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NM has 90 plus National Merit Semifinalists

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico semifinalists in the not-for-profit National Merit Scholarship program – including more than 60 from the Albuquerque metro area – were announced this week.

“These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring,” program officials said in a news release.

More than 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and of that group, about half will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title, they said.

Money for the awards come from the National Merit Scholarship program, and about 410 business organizations and higher education institutions that share goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

The program notes that using the number of qualifiers from a particular school or education system can result in erroneous conclusions.

Approximately 1.6 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools nationwide entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/


The pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors.

Those who advance to the finalist level will be notified in February and scholarship winners notified in batches from April through July of next year.

New Mexico semifinalists by name and school are as follows:

♦ Brian Colon Ortiz, Melanie June, and Charles L. Wisecup, from Alamogordo HS

♦ Stella Asmerom, Noah A. Baca, John J. Buttermore, Charles L. Caperton, Sophia S. Carroll, Sage Fiorentino-Lange, Katherine L. Gonglewski, Gavin L. Hearne, Harrison R. Hibbett, Christopher L. Kuang, Anish Kumar, Alex B. McLaughlin, Maria C. Metzger, Calvin S. Parmeter, Stephanie R. Rifkin, Karen N. Sabol. Micah K. Sandman, Bronwyn F. Spears, Eric W. Swiler, Rebecca S. Torrez, Alina Vulcan, Carolyn Wang, Akshay K. Warrier, Sarah M. Weber, Kevin Y. Xue, all from Albuquerque Academy.

♦ Khadijah Burke, Matthew L. Espen, Alisa Meraz-Fishbein, Diana L. Mullen, Carmen G. Ortega, all from Albuquerque HS

♦ Lucas R. Gatterman, Alb. Institute for Math and Science

♦ Vera L. Berger, Bosque School

♦ Kaylee A. Johnson, Catherine Thomas, Cibola HS

♦ Thomas Fisher, Logan Franchell, College and Career HS

♦ Dante S. Manocchio, Cottonwood Classical Prep

♦ Madeleine S. Christison, Abigail R. Craff, Kioshi N. Morosin, Ruth E. Mueller, Alexander P. Rodriguez, all from Early College Academy

♦ Lauren J. Harstad, Eric M. Osmon, Zachary O. Wenner, Eldorado HS

♦ Heidi L. Darsey, Elias T. Garcia, Caleb Van Omen, home schooled

♦ Alexander B. Bethel, Lauren E. Chang, Brynn E. Elson, Audrey Gates, Jennifer W. Harned, Alia A. Pedersen, Allison E. Rodas, Anita X. Sumali, Jerry Sun, Jason Xiong, Brad W. Zhang, Jared Zhang, all from La Cueva HS

♦ Jessica J. Ganley, Sandia HS

♦ Noah P. Gallegos, Sandia Prep

♦ Garrett I. Frye-Mason, Cedra Crest home schooled

♦ Emily H. Nguyen, Farmington HS

♦ Katherine Broten, Corbyn G. Foster, Piedra Vista HS

♦ Brenton T. Candelaria, Arrowhead Park Early College HS in Las Cruces

♦ Andrew Y. Cai, Austin Hills, Jenna M. McClellan, Kaden R. Taylor, Centennial HS, Las Cruces

♦ Susan E. Harding, Jonathan H. Lee, Las Cruces HS

♦ Alina K. Bulthuis, Liam N. Devlin, Antonio T. Dowdy, Do T. Vo, Peter A. Watson, Sonyia J. Williams, Steven Zhao, Los Alamos HS

♦ Daylan F. Flemmons, Lovington HS

♦ Remson R. Ramos, Ryan M. Watson, Hao Wei, V. Sue Cleveland HS, Rio Rancho

♦ Arianna M. Nava, Rio Rancho HS

♦ Zachary A. Davis, NM Military Institute, Roswell

♦ Maxwell Lyons, Ella L. Nichols, Santa Fe HS

♦ Zachary R. Ginn, Cade J. Harris, Taos HS