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23 HCS Seniors Selected as 2023 National Merit Semifinalists

September 15, 2022

Source: NMSC News Release

(Hoover, AL) - Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, and there are 23 Hoover City Schools (HCS) seniors who were selected. These outstanding students scored in the top 1% of the nation on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) taken their junior year, which served as an initial screen for program participants. 

The seniors will now move on to the next level by competing for approximately 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million. The 23 seniors are among a total of 16,000 semifinalists selected for the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program from across the country.

According to an NMSC news release, about 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to earn finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2023 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join nearly 368,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title. 

Hoover High School's 18 Semifinalists

Christos Argyropoulos

Jari Chen

Lukas Fu

Kashvi Gaddam

Lauren Geisler

Thomas Gullahorn

Dylan Haigler

Thomas Hao

Matthew Harden

William Hertz

Eshika Kudaravalli

Dominic Renda

Hannah Reynolds

Midhun Sadanand

Matthew Shen

Jacob Upton

Rati Venkatesan

Liz Wang

Hoover High School Principal John Montgomery said, “Hoover High School’s faculty and staff are very proud of our 18 seniors selected as National Merit Semifinalists due to scoring in the top 1% of the nation on the PSAT their junior year. These students have worked hard throughout their school careers to accomplish this honor. They are excellent students and great role models for our school and community.”

Spain Park High School's Five (5) Semifinalists

David Collins

Zachary Lin

Benjamin Roberts

Fiona Selle

Nicholas Stefanov

Spain Park High School Principal Dr. Amanda Esslinger said, “Everyone at Spain Park is so proud of our National Merit Semifinalists. This achievement highlights their hard work throughout their educational careers. I am looking forward to watching them continue to grow and succeed in the future.”

To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. According to the NMSC, the requirements to become a finalist include submitting a detailed scholarship application that provides information about the finalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards. In addition, a semifinalist must write an essay and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. 

College Board’s National African American Recognition Award and the National Hispanic Recognition Award.

In a separate scholar recognition program based on last year’s PSAT results, HCS also congratulates outstanding HCS  juniors and seniors who were selected for the College Board’s National African American Recognition Award and the National Hispanic Recognition Award.

Hoover High School:

Alyson Goodwin

Anthony Hill

Gabrielle Boyd

Mekayla Mcneil

Phanuelle Manuel


Spain Park High School:

Evan Houser

Morgan Williams

Sydni Taylor

Williams Olatubi

According to its website, College Board’s National Recognition Programs create pathways to college for students from underserved communities by awarding them academic honors and connecting them with universities across the country.