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National Merit begins its search with 72 from GCPS

National Merit Semifinalists announced

National Merit begins its search with 72 from GCPS

September 12, 2019

     The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has started its nationwide search for the students who will be named 2020 National Merit Scholars, winners of scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be announced starting next spring. As part of this first step, 72 Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) seniors have been named 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists. The students from 12 Gwinnett high schools are part of approximately 16,000 top students from across the nation who will now compete for the official National Merit Scholar title and thousands of dollars in scholarships that are awarded annually to graduating seniors. 

The 2020 National Merit Semifinalists from GCPS are:

Archer HS
Summer R. Porter

Brookwood HS
Alexandra J. Barskiy 
Zachary O. Bloodworth 
Tarel D. Dennie 
Amen H. Gashaw 
Jacquelyn Gwynn 
Aidan T. Hentschel
Christian H. Kim 
Tanuj Patel 
Neil R. Patram 
Gregory R. Zhang 

Collins Hill HS
Jenise R. Bowling 



Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Juan-Pablo Armes 
Victoria J. Chung 
Huy C. Dai 
Frances Day 
Gautam Desai 
Kareem Elfoulie 
Neha Gregory 
Aiden Jacobazzi
Emily H. Kim 
Jennifer J. Kim 
Ray Li
Young Q. Lin 
Tristan A. Linn 
Hanson Liu 
Faith E. Mchan 
Isabel L. Mchenry 
Vraj J. Patel 
Chirayu M. Salgarkar
Nihar D. Shah 
Davin W. Shi 
Wenjun Wang

North Gwinnett HS
Maya Chande 
Alexander G. Fonzi 
Bret A. Jacob-Wolos 
Rachel D. Kim 
Justin K. Lee 
Maria Li 
Savannah K. Luney 
Page K. Nellis 
Michael R. Robinson 
Benjamin N. Stracner 
Gabrielle B. Wheeler 


Parkview HS
Joy Dang 
Rhiannon B. Eplett 
Toby S. Nguyen 
Jessica Y. Pan 
Aarsh A. Patel 
Mary Wang 


Duluth HS
Garrett R. Baird 
Shalin A. Jain 


Grayson HS
Josue Estrada-Cordoba 
Claire E. Mistretta 




Mill Creek HS
Claire M. Grant 
Cassidy J. Hettesheimer 
Madelyn K. Hurd 
Madison B. Leming 


Norcross HS
Skylar P. Barnash 
Luke J. Gries 
Chance M. Keown 


Peachtree Ridge HS
Alice V. Ao 
William L. Ao 
Andrew A. Chen 
Kevin Choi 
Bryan J. Kim
Eunice C. Kim
Daniel J. Lee 
Reanna B. Rafiq 
Arvind Raza 
Alice Z. Yu 

South Gwinnett HS
Henoc Zinga 


     These 72 Gwinnett students, part of the Class 2020, were chosen for this competitive process based on their college entrance exam scores. They are competing with other semifinalists from around the nation for some 7,600 National Merit scholarships, worth more than $31 million.

     Approximately 1.6 million students in more than 21,000 high schools entered the competition last school year as juniors by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as the initial screening for program entrants. The semifinalists named in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program are the highest scoring entrants in each state.

     A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. These academically talented students then compete to become finalists. That recognition is determined by looking at the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, and honors and awards received. 

     These students will compete for three types of National Merit Scholarships with winners for 2020 announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.

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