Lenape Regional High School District boasts 10 semifinalists in National Merit Scholarship Program

This year has the most semifinalists in district history.

Pictured from left from Lenape High School are Jimmy Li, Shivank Joshi and Liam Anthony.

The Lenape Regional High School District is congratulating the 10 senior students from across the district who have been named semifinalists as part of the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program.

District officials say this number of semifinalists is the most in district history.

Furthermore, officials say students from the LRHSD make up more than half of the total 17 students named this year from Burlington County.

Students include Ian Aquino, Ryan Fanelli, Matthew Goffin, Palak Jain and Zhudi Pan from Cherokee High School, Joshua Atwater and Gina Chryssofos from Shawnee High School and Liam Anthony, Shivank Joshi and Jimmy Li from Lenape High School.

The students join a nationwide pool of about 16,000 academically talented high school seniors who now have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million.

Semifinalists represent the highest-scoring students in each state who took the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

According to the district, about 1.6 million students from more than 22,000 high schools took the test to enter the National Merit Scholarship competition.

Officials say the recently announced semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, each semifinalist must now fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition, including submitting an application that details his or her academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards received.

About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, which will be announced in February, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, which will be awarded in the spring of 2019.

“I congratulate our 10 National Merit Semifinalists for this extraordinary accomplishment. I know that they will submit strong applications to compete for Finalist status and the National Merit Scholarships,” Superintendent Carol Birnbohm said. “I also commend the teachers and administrators throughout our district who are supporting and challenging our students each and every day. Our success as a district is evident through achievements like this one. We have a record-setting 10 National Merit Semifinalists this year for our district. That is truly remarkable and worth celebrating.”