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Fourteen Hoover City Schools Students Selected as Semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program

September 20, 2021

14 Hoover City Schools’ Students Selected as Semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program

Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of semifinalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program and there are 14 Hoover City Schools’ seniors who were selected! 

The seniors will now move on to the next level by competing for approximately 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million. HCS 14 seniors are among a total of 16,000 semifinalists selected for the 2022 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. The National Merit Scholarship winners of 2022 will be announced beginning in April.

Hoover High School's Semifinalists

Christopher Cheng

Kenneth Curlings

Shayaan Essani

Carys Gonzalez

Olurotimi Kukoyi

Sreekiran Nataraj

Adnan Porbanderwala

Samuel Temple

Connor Varwig

Sarah Xin

Jeffrey Yuan



Spain Park High School's Semifinalists

Riley Luthin

Michael Wolkow

Joseph Mudano


The NMSC, a nonprofit organization, was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program to honor the nation’s best and brightest and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.  

John Montgomery, principal of Hoover High School, says he is extremely proud of the school’s 11 seniors who were designated as National Merit Semifinalists. Montgomery says they are more than academic scholars, they also are leaders within the school and the greater Hoover community.  


“Beyond the classroom, their interests and achievements range from a wide variety of activities, including everything from earning the Eagle Scout rank with the Boy Scouts of America to winning TikTok challenges to promote public health.  They are members of our math, STEM, and debate teams, and many are working to earn an additional diploma, the AP Capstone Diploma or the IB Diploma. I am confident in their future success in the National Merit Scholarship Program, in college, and their chosen career path,” said Montgomery.

Larry Giangrosso, principal of Spain Park High School, says he is exceptionally proud of the school’s three seniors who earned the prestigious distinction of National Merit Semifinalists. Giangrosso says based on the strength of their accomplishments, academic merit, and wide range of talent, he’s confident that these exceptional young men will be among those who qualify as National Merit Finalists when it is announced later this school year.

“These three students represent all of what is good about Spain Park High School. They are involved in the performing and fine arts, STEM field activities and endeavors, athletics at various levels, and scouting at the highest level of Eagle Scout, respectively.  National Merit Semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of Alabama's high school seniors. We are fortunate to have three of those elite students at our school, and we look forward to all of the many things they will accomplish. The doors that are opened for these students by virtue of this accomplishment will undoubtedly benefit them, but we will all indirectly benefit from the wonderful things they will go on to do in the years to come,” said Giangrosso.

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 received. 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. 

SOURCE: NMSC News Release