National Merit Semifinalists Win Honors, Could Gain Even More

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK La Cañada High School seniors who recently became National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists include Kevin Mo (front row, from left), Kyle Lee, Jared Cheng, Harrison Cho, Andrew Kwon and Justin Hyon. Back: Ryan Choi, Amanda Laus, Diya Razdan, Jared Ahn, Veronica Muller and Andrew Chae.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
La Cañada High School seniors who recently became National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists include Kevin Mo (front row, from left), Kyle Lee, Jared Cheng, Harrison Cho, Andrew Kwon and Justin Hyon. Back: Ryan Choi, Amanda Laus, Diya Razdan, Jared Ahn, Veronica Muller and Andrew Chae.

The 12 La Cañada High School seniors named semifinalists in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program recently had some tasty treats — think small cartons of orange juice, blueberry muffins and Smarties — to recognize their talents. But they could be in line for a greater award.
Students who were honored recently included Jared Ahn, Andrew Chae, Jared Cheng, Harrison Cho, Ryan Choi, Justin Hyon, Andrew Kwon, Amanda Laus, Kyle Lee, Kevin Mo, Veronica Muller and Diya Razdan.
They are among approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide, or less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors, according to an announcement from National Merit Scholarship Program. The semifinalists, who include the highest-scoring entrants in each state, took the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, according to the release. Those who later become finalists would be eligible for scholarships through the program and other sources.
“In terms of your individual achievement, you are not only scholars and smarties but also just really fine people,” La Cañada Unified School District Superintendent Wendy Sinnette told the semifinalists. “So that’s really what makes us so proud of you, that we know you’re representing us not only at the academic level but the social, emotional, character level.”
Sinnette, meeting with the students in an office at LCHS, said they provided exemplary leadership for the district and she was proud of them.
“We are all committed to education because of the work you do,” Sinnette said. “But to have such fine people emerge, with such a distinguished honor, I just want to say thank you.”
Kandy Basmajian, a comprehensive counselor at LCHS, told the semifinalists they had now entered a competition for a scholarship and gave them white envelopes with instructions on how to log into the National Merit Scholarship website. They have until Wednesday, Oct. 10, to apply.
Students find out in February if they’ve made the finalist round, Basmajian said, and are notified if they have received a scholarship afterward.
“So good luck to all of you, you’re now in this competition pool,” Basmajian said.
Assistant Principal Kip Glazer said the recognition event is a tradition for the counseling department.
“It’s one of my favorite things to do, celebrating students,” Glazer said.
Additionally, National Merit Scholarship semifinalists were also named for Flintridge Prep in the city.
LCF resident Rithik Jain as well as Christina Fan, Ryan Huntley, Sinclaire Ledahl, Bavan Rajan and Emma Wang were all recognized.

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