MHS has five National Merit winners

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Five members of the Class of 2020 have received National Merit Scholarships.

Zach Leffel and Rohan Shah were awarded a National Merit Scholarship worth $2,500 annually in May. They were two of approximately 2,500 winners nationwide -- and just two of 47 from Wisconsin -- announced in May. Leffel plans to study internal relations, while Shah plans to major in biomedical engineering.

Maylynn Hu, Egan Johnson, and Ella Roach were awarded National Merit Scholarships financed by colleges and universities in early June. They were among fewer than 80 Wisconsin students to be honored out of just more than 3,300 nationally.

Hu will attend Emory and plans to go into law. Johnson will attend Texas-Dallas and plans to major in computer science. Roach will attend Northwestern and plans to major in journalism.

MHS learned in September that 17 students have been named National Merit semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

There are fewer than 320 National Merit semifinalists in Wisconsin. Only one high schools -- Madison West (19) -- had more semifinalists than MHS. In all, 84 students from the Dane County area are semifinalists this year.

The 17 MHS students are Ava DeCroix, Noah Ehrhardt, Adam Hanson, Mary Hsu, Hu, Johnson, Andrew Kruck, Leffel, Caleb Radtke, Serena Raval, Roach, Elena Sacchetti, Shah, Stephen Shi, Anaka Srinivas, Alexa Williams, and Sean Zhang.

Eight MHS seniors -- Max Balasubramaniam, Ashley Biwott, Joshua Cochrane, Sophia De Oliveira, Kyra Ginsberg, Akshay Kelshiker, Forrest Peterson and Tyler Wilson -- were named commended students in the National Merit scholarship program. They are among 34,000 students nationwide out of more than 1.5 million who took the PSAT to be recognized.

Approximately 420 MHS sophomores and juniors took the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) last year. All juniors in the District last year took the ACT. Both are college entrance exams. Only juniors can qualify for National Merit scholarships.

Approximately 1.5 million students took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test last year. Less than 1 percent were awarded semifinalist status nationwide.

Ninety percent of semifinalists are expected to become finalists who will be eligible to receive one of about 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million in the spring of 2020.

NMSC is a non-profit organization that operates without government assistance and was established in 1955. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions. This is the 65th year of the scholarship program.