Gatton Academy Seniors Set New Record of National Merit Semifinalists
- Elise Swift-Taylor
- Wednesday, September 15th, 2021
Twenty-six seniors from The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky have been recognized as semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Competition, breaking the 2019 record of the most students recognized in a single school year in the program’s history.
Since The Gatton Academy’s inception in 2007, a total of 223 students have been named National Merit Semifinalists. Since students take the qualifying PSAT exam in October of their junior year of high school, much of their preparation stems from learning opportunities during their freshman and sophomore years of high school. The Gatton Academy builds on students’ sending school experiences to provide them with preparation for the ACT® and SAT®, critical components in becoming finalists.
The 2021-2022 National Merit Semifinalists from The Gatton Academy are:
- Brendan Allison (Meade County High School) of Vine Grove
- Sahil Chhabra (Bowling Green High School) of Bowling Green
- Connor Flick (Conner High School) of Hebron
- Harrison Gover (Bowling Green High School) of Bowling Green
- Xander Jarvis (Rowan County High School) of Morehead
- Aidan Kash (St. Francis High School) of Louisville
- Thomas Kolb (Atherton High School) of Louisville
- Sahil Krishnani (duPont Manual High School) of Louisville
- Maya Lebedinsky (Bowling Green High School) of Bowling Green
- Avery Lenihan (Randall K. Cooper High School) of Florence
- Allen Lin (Larry A. Ryle High School) of Union
- Yasmina Muradova (Muhlenberg County High School) of Greenville
- Marcus Negron (Western Hills High School) of Frankfort
- Bella Norman (Greenwood High School) of Bowling Green
- Anish Penmecha (Western Hills High School) of Frankfort
- Elisha Piercefield (Webster County High School) of Wheatcroft
- Angelo Matthew Pimienta (Pikeville High School) of Frankfort
- Haven Gabrielle Romero (Lafayette High School) of Lexington
- Samirah Salifu (Greenwood High School) of Bowling Green
- Arivumani Srivastava (Greenwood High School) of Bowling Green
- John Logan Stewart (Oldham County High School) of LaGrange
- Nathan Turlington (Central Hardin High School) of Cecilia
- Satyasree Vangoor (North Oldham High School) of Prospect
- Brendan White (Central Hardin High School) of Elizabethtown
- Hunter Wimsatt (Owensboro Catholic High School) of Owensboro
- Kaleb Lilly Workman (Randall K. Cooper High School) of Union
Students entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as the initial screen of program entrants. The Gatton Academy provides all of its students the opportunity take this test. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors
“These students are remarkable in so many ways, not just in academics. They are great people and contributing community members. I am proud of the people they are and the citizens they are becoming,” stated Dr. Lynette Breedlove, Director of The Gatton Academy. “Kentucky full of exceptional students. These students’ school districts have worked hard to provide them with a solid foundation launching them towards excellence.”
From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level. To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist and their school must submit a detailed scholarship application, which provides information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout their high school career, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
Finalists will be announced in February, and all National Merit Scholarship winners for 2022 will be announced in four nationwide releases beginning in April and concluding in July.
For more information about The Gatton Academy, visit www.wku.edu/academy or call (270) 745-6565.
About the National Merit Scholarship Program: Established in 1955, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. NMSC conducts the National Merit® Scholarship Program and the National Achievement® Scholarship Program–annual competitions for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships. The honors awarded by NMSC to exceptionally able students are viewed as definitive marks of excellence. Recipients of Merit Scholarship® awards, Achievement Scholarship® awards, and corporate-sponsored Special Scholarships have increased the nation’s respect for intellectual accomplishments and have contributed significantly to its talent pool of future leaders.
About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential two-year program for gifted and talented junior and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematical careers. The Gatton Academy has been named to Jay Mathews’ list of top-performing schools with elite students for eleven consecutive appearances and received the National Consortium for Secondary STEM School’s Innovation Partnership Award.