Celebratory breakfast hosted for National Merit Scholars

October 21, 2009 — by Saniha Shankar

This year, the school boasted 79 seniors who scored high enough on the PSAT last year to be named commended, semifinalists and finalists for National Merit Scholarships.

Fifty-three were commended scholars and 27 were semi-finalists. Finalists will be named later, and most semi-finalists go on to be finalists, assistant principal Brian Safine said.

On Oct. 21, a celebratory breakfast took place in the cafeteria for students and their families.

“It’s a really nice way for students and their families to celebrate,” said senior semifinalist Diana Lu . “It’s also really exciting to find out who else scored really high on the PSAT”

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is a nationwide academic scholarship competition among high school juniors for national recognition as well as college scholarships. The NMSC is a privately funded, non-profit organization founded in 1955. There is usually a total number of 1.4 million entries, of which 50,000 are given recognition. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be enrolled in a high school, be legal U.S. citizens and take the PSAT during the fall of their junior year.

The finalists are in the top 1 percent in the nation, but Saratoga High’s graduating senior class of a little more than 300 students has 27 semi-finalists. The finalists will be announced in the spring.

Last year, there were 74 honorees: 45 commended scholars and 29 semifinalists, so there is a slight improvement from last year.

“I think our high performances on the PSAT each year is a testament to the students’ dedication as well as to the teachers,” said Safine.