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Student Awards-Honors

Posted: September 11, 2019

Congrats to Our National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists!

24 APS seniors are among the nation's top academically talented high school students.

Twenty-four Albuquerque Public Schools high school seniors have been named semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. They are among 16,000 students from across the nation competing for $31 million in scholarships.

To qualify as a semifinalist, students earned top scores on the 2018 preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test that they took as juniors. More than 1.5 million students in more than 21,000 high schools took the exam last fall. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

"To be recognized as a National Merit Semifinalist is a huge honor for students because it represents years of hard work and dedication to learning," said Superintendent Raquel Reedy. "Congratulations to this fine group of students. We are proud of your accomplishment and expect great things from you in the future."

The 2020 APS Semifinalists

Albuquerque High School

  • Mason Cannon
  • Avalon Vanis
  • Rishi Yang

College and Career Academy

Isabella Reitz

Early College Academy

  • Elisabeth Christensen-Brown
  • Daniel Ha
  • Anna Mellin
  • Abigail Perce
  • Tobias Vigneau

Eldorado High School

  • Barbara Leppala
  • Karenna Sandoval
  • Lauren Urenda
  • Jack Wickstrom

La Cueva High School

  • Adina Abudushalamu
  • Etienne Allred
  • David Feng
  • Emily Ho
  • Kaya Ingram
  • Grace Jiang
  • Cody Limary
  • Trenton McBee
  • Wesley Terrones
  • Blake Watson
  • Roland Zhang

From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected based on their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

Those students will compete for one of three merit scholarships:

  • $2,500 National Merit Scholarship (2,500 awarded nationally)
  • Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship Award (about 1,000 awarded by about 220 corporations and businesses nationally)
  • College-sponsored Merit Scholarship (about 4,100 awarded by about 180 colleges and universities).