JCPS students named 2020 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

Students will compete for scholarships worth more than $31 million 

More than 35 students from the Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) District are among the approximately 16,000 across the country named 2020 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. 

Ballard High School's Kyra Lyvers and Bennett Wilson pose for a photo

Semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program were announced Sept. 11 by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. and will compete for scholarships worth more than $31 million. Semifinalists from JCPS include students from Ballard High, duPont Manual High and Eastern High. The students are:

  • Atherton High School's Logan Mingus (dual-enrolled at Gatton Academy)
  • Ballard High School's Kyra Lyvers and Bennett Wilson
  • duPont Manual High School’s Naren Alluri, Sarah Bogan, Hayden Brown, Abhishek Chaudhary, Kamal Chilukuri, Benjamin Gediman, Shashidhar Gollamudi, Lilly Gonzalez, Laine Hirn, William Holland, Jia-En Hu, Leo Hughes, Andrew Kook, Donovan Liem, Maxwell Martin, Emma Martinez-Morison, Madeline Mattheu, Sanya Mehta, Elif Ozyurekoglu, Bhavana Pavuluri, Aysha Puzhakkaraillath, Yizhen Quan, Shyam Ravishanker, Pranav Senthilvel, Shreshth Srivastava, Raymond Suo, Ethan Tate, Kenneth Tien, Christian Tingle, Sai Nikhil Vangala, Caroline Youdese and Felicia Zhong
  • Eastern High School’s Harrison Evans, Jackson Jones and Matthew Mitchell
  • J. Graham Brown School's William Dolan (dual-enrolled at Gatton Academy) 

“JCPS continues producing some of the best and brightest students in the state and country, and the achievements and hard work of these accomplished students are an example of that,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said. “They are leaders – both in our schools and our community." 

Manual National Merit semifinalists pose for a photo

The students were among approximately 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools who entered the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves 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.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. 

•	Eastern High School’s Harrison Evans, Jackson Jones and Matthew Mitchell

From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level. Finalists will be announced next year.



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