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SHS Students receive National Merit Designations

Ocotber 17

Sartell High School seniors Taylor Chaika, Riley Hengel, and Zachary Hohenstern received designations in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Taylor Chaika, a Semifinalist, joins less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors as 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. 

Riley Hengel and Zachary Hohenstern, Commended Students, are two of approximately 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation who are recognized for their exceptional academic promise. 

High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. 

“On behalf of the entire Sartell High School community, I want to share how proud we are of Taylor, Riley, and Zachary. It is a wonderful accomplishment for three students in our senior class to receive National Merit designations,” Sartell High School Principal Shayne Kusler shared.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide 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 high school, 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. From over 16,000 Semifinalists, more than 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.