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Vestavia Hills High School leads state with 21 National Merit Semifinalists

National Merit Semifinalists at Vestavia Hills High SchoolSeptember 14, 2022 -- 21 Vestavia Hills High School seniors have been named Semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

National Merit Semifinalists at Vestavia Hills High School are, as pictured:

Front row, left to right: Mary Katherine Meeks, Alice Sun, Malaika Dsa, Jamie Casey, Isabella Gentry, Rebecca Maddox, Susan Baskar Raj, Dylan Zhao

Back row, left to right: Kate Kaiser, Philip Mitchell, James Anthony, Amith Varambally, Graham Uldrich, Jaxon Dunlevy, Erin Visser, Haojun Chen, Aarya Aluri, Zain Farooqui, Arman Dolatabadi

Not pictured: Jonathan Gidley, Hannah Wright

The students are among 16,000 Semifinalists nationwide who will have the opportunity to compete for some $30 million in scholarships, according to a release today from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The students entered this year’s competition by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The nationwide pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of high school seniors in the U.S.

Vestavia’s 21 National Merit Semifinalists represent the largest number of Semifinalists from any individual high school in Alabama this year. It’s the largest group of Semifinalists from VHHS since 2006, when the school had 24 Semifinalists.

“I’m thrilled for the achievement of these scholars and all the opportunities this will set into motion for them and their families,” Vestavia Hills High School principal Tonya Rozell said today. “They demonstrated great perseverance through many challenges — including several unprecedented years of high school — and continued to learn and grow on the highest level.”

National Merit Finalists will be announced in the spring of 2023.