WESTPORT, Conn. — Nine Staples High School seniors have been named finalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.
As Merit Scholar finalists, JiSu Ahn, Isabelle Amlicke, Alexander Ialeggio, Nicole Kiker, Lindsey Marks, Grace McGinley, Ulyana Piterbarg, Tia Pogue, and Phoebe Spear all have a chance to earn one of 7,400 National Merit Scholarship awards, together worth more than $35 million.
Final scholarship winners, chosen from a group of more than 15,000 finalists, may be notified by NMSC as early as March. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
To become a finalist, students met the following criteria: have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier qualifying test performance. The semifinalist and a school official then had to submit a detailed scholarship application, which included the student’s essay and information about the semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.
Staples High School Principal James D'Amico praised the National Merit Scholarship finalists. "These students are scholars due to their performance in the classroom, but more importantly, they are fine citizens of our school, and represent many of the best qualities of the Staples High School community. I congratulate these students, and everyone who has supported them on their journey."
Picture identifications: Back Row: L to R: Ulyana Piterbarg, Nicole T. Kiker, Alexander D. Ialeggio and Tia Pogue. Front Row L to R: Phoebe Spear, JiSu Ahn, Isabelle Amlicke and Lindsey N. Marks. Missing from picture: Grace McGinley.