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Westport Students Compete For Merit Scholarships

WESTPORT, Conn. – Eleven Westport students are among 16,000 high school seniors nationwide chosen to compete for 8,300 National Merit Scholarships.

The 11 Staples High School selected as semifinalists in 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program are Charlotte Breig, Max Gibson, David Katter, Zachary Lerangis, Michelle Mastrianni, Caitlin McVaney, Robert Perry, Matthew Silver, Priyanka Subramanian, Gabrielle Wimer and Constance Zhou.

"Because I spend so many hours each week with our students, I know how talented and hard-working they are," said Staples Principal John Dodig in a statement. "Some of the public, however, needs a metric to judge just how well-prepared are students are. The National Merit Scholarship Program is such a metric."

Started in 1955, the National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic scholarship competition that honors high achieving high school students across the country. To enter the program, students have to take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test — a test taken by more than 1.5 million students each year. Students must also meet a variety of entry requirements.

Only the highest scoring students in each state are selected as semifinalists.

"Having 11 National Merit Semifinalists is a visible sign that we have an outstanding student body," Dodig said. "This many students in one class reaching this level of success lets the world know how serious our students are about becoming well-educated."

Photo identification: Back row, left to right, are Constance Zhou, Michelle Mastrianni, Robert Perry, Charlotte Breig and Priyanka Subramanian. Middle row, left to right, are Caitlin McVaney and Matthew Silver. In the front row is Gabrielle Wimer.

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