MHS has six National Merit scholarship winners

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Six members of the Class of 2019 have received National Merit Scholarships.

Meghna Datta was awarded a National Merit Scholarship worth $2,500 annually in May. She was one of 2,500 winners -- and just 43 in Wisconsin -- out of more than 15,000 finalists. Meghna plans to go into neurobiology.

Owen Engling, Steven Lawton, Laura Stewart, David Whittingham, and Jason Yang were among 90 Wisconsin students and 3,500 nationwide to be awarded National Merit Scholarships on June 5. The awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually.

Whittingham will attend Tufts and plans to major in political science. Engling will attend Southern California and plans to major in surgical medicine. Lawton will attend Minnesota and plans to major in environmental engineering. Yang will attend Northwestern and plans to major in medicine. Stewart will attend Case Western Reserve and plans to major in applied mathematics.

The six students, along with Marcus Knoke, Annie Ma, and Benjamin Scher were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

There are fewer than 320 National Merit semifinalists in Wisconsin. Only four high schools – Brookfield East, Glendale Nicolet, Madison West and Madison Memorial -- had more semifinalist than MHS. In all, 92 students from the Dane County area are semifinalists this year.

MHS has had more than 90 semifinalists since 2011.

"As part of a large, comprehensive high-performing high school, there is much to celebrate at Middleton High School,'' principal Steve Plank said. "With the start of the school year now in the rear view mirror, we congratulate our nine National Merit semifinalists. These students are part of an elite group of academics. As MHS continues to strive for excellence in all we do, we pause to celebrate the amazing performance of these dedicated learners. Congratulations to our semifinalists!’’

More than 450 MHS students 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 1.6 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 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million in the spring of 2019.

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