9 Schreiber students named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

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Port Washington had nine semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship. (Courtesy of Jake Mendlinger)

Nine students at the Paul D. Schreiber High School were named as semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship, according to a press release this week from the Port Washington School District.

The nine students are Jolie Bercow, Emily Doherty, Becky Han, Olivia Hansen, Jacob Keller, Benjamin Rosenberg, Edward Samowitz, Ryan Siegel, and Leah Taylor.

“Being named a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program is a tremendous accomplishment, and we are proud to celebrate this exciting announcement with these nine exceptional students,” said Kathleen Mooney, the district’s superintendent. “These exemplary individuals continue to impress us through their academic successes and participation in extracurricular activities. Their work ethic and character represent the epitome of what the Port Washington School District continuously strives to attain.”

The students were chosen based on their on their scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

The nine students from Schreiber are among 16,000 students from around the country who will be competing for 7,500 scholarships worth more than $32 million.

According to the National Merit Scholarship Corp., more than 90 percent of finalists will be named finalists, while half of the finalists will win a National Merit scholarship.

Finalists will be chosen based on academic achievement, skill and abilities.

Further along in the process, the finalists will be assessed by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who will examine the students’ academic record, scores on two standardized test, contributions and leadership in school community activities, an essay written by the finalist, and a recommendation written by a high school faculty member.

The different categories of scholarship winners will be announced in April, May, June and July of 2019, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

Last May, then-Schreiber senior Julia Ruskin was one of the 2,500 students from around the country to receive a $2,500 scholarship.

Two other Port-based students also won the award, although they attended private schools outside of the area. Thirteen students in total from the North Shore received a scholarship award in May 2018.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1955. The scholarships it administers are funded by 410 independent corporations and college sponsors.

Since its creation, it has given more than 423,000 scholarships worth nearly $1.7 billion to more than three million students across the country.

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