National Merit Semifinalists receive recognition at a school board meeting

Pictured from left: Skyview High School Principal Jim Gray, National Merit Semifinalist Sydney Kim, National Merit Semifinalist Kiran Gregerson and Columbia River High School Associate Principal Marji Ruzicka. Kim and Gregerson were recognized by Vancouver Public Schools’ board of directors on Sept. 26.

Students in the running for prestigious scholarship

Kiran Gregerson, Columbia River High School, and Sydney Kim, Skyview High School, are among the 16,000 Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

Kim is a senior in Skyview’s Science, Math and Technology Magnet. By the time she graduates, she will have completed 10 Advanced Placement classes. Kim also is the president of the school’s Red Cross Club and Math Team and participates in the Key Club, National Honor Society and chamber orchestra. She earned an electrical engineering internship with Bonneville Power Administration last summer and hopes to study either electrical engineering or medicine in college.

Gregerson is a senior in Columbia River’s International Baccalaureate program, as well as a second-year Running Start student. Outside of school, he is a member of the Rose City Rowing Club in Portland, Oregon. Gregerson plans to take a gap year after graduation and learn Spanish, Arabic and computer coding, before attending college to study computer science and architecture.

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

Students earn Semifinalist status by demonstrating an outstanding academic record throughout high school, being endorsed and recommended by a high school official, writing an essay and earning SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from the group of Finalists.