Five Byram Hills High School Seniors Are National Merit Semifinalists
Five Byram Hills High School seniors have been chosen as semifinalists in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship competition.
The students are Samara Brown, Aaron Lestz, Daniel Ndocaj, Alexander Woodworth and Yicheng Yang. They can compete for 7,140 scholarships worth nearly $28 million.
More than 1.3 million high school juniors entered the scholarship competition last year by taking the Preliminary SAT, which serves as an initial screening. The Byram Hills students are among more than 16,000 semifinalists, academically talented students who represent less than 1% of high school seniors nationwide.
School leaders congratulated the semifinalists and wished them luck in the scholarship contest.
“We are so proud of the achievements of our outstanding National Merit semifinalists,” Principal Christopher Walsh said. “It is terrific to see their hard work and dedication recognized.”
Guidance Chairperson Kristina Wilson added: “Their achievement is not just a reflection of individual excellence but also a reflection of the outstanding education they have received from our dedicated teachers, staff, and the support of their families. We are immensely proud of these students and cannot wait to see the incredible contributions they will make to our community and the world beyond.”
To become a finalist, students must submit a detailed application that includes information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities, work, honors and awards. They must be recommended by a high school official, write an essay and achieve SAT or ACT scores that confirm their PSAT performance. The finalists will be announced in February.
About 95% of semifinalists are expected to become finalists, and about half of the finalists will win a scholarship and the Merit Scholar title. Merit scholars are chosen for their skills, accomplishments and potential to succeed in a rigorous college program.
The winners will be announced in the spring and summer.
Three Byram Hills High School Student Musicians Earn Prestigious All-State Honors
Three seniors from Byram Hills High School have received prestigious All-State honors from the New York State School Music Association, selected from thousands of students who auditioned in the spring at music festivals throughout the state.
Trombonist Aaron Lestz was selected for the All-State Symphonic Band and will perform at the NYSSMA All-State Conference in Rochester, New York, this fall. Alto Morgan Hecht and Valentina Marino, a soprano, were selected as alternates for the All-State Mixed Chorus.
The All-State NYSSMA performances will be held on Dec. 3 at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre of the University of Rochester.
Photo and Text of Above Stories courtesy of the Byram Hills Central School District
King School’s Jack Zipper Named National Merit Semifinalist
The National Merit Scholarship Program announced in September that Jack Zipper of Armonk was named a semifinalist for its 69th annual competition. According to the announcement, being named a semifinalist puts Zipper, a student at King School in Stamford, in a pool of less than 1% of high school seniors. Over 1.3 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as an initial screen of program entrants.
“I am so proud of Jack,” said Director of College Counseling Jessica Landis. “Based upon his outstanding academic and co-curricular achievements, he will be a strong contender for the finalist stage.” Next, Zipper must meet several requirements, including submitting a detailed application, writing an essay, maintaining an outstanding academic record, and contributing to the community.
The nonprofit said only 7,140 scholarships will be given next spring.
Photo and Text courtesy of King Street School