Two Ames High School Key Club Officers Named as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Holding the banner in the picture above, Key Club President Emma Cai (right) and Key Club Vice President Melissa Liu (left) have been named as Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.  Former AHS 2016-2017 Key Club Secretary Caroline Paxton is also being recognized.  See the full article below to learn about the 13 AHS students who earned this distinction.

(Picture and caption included here by Randy Griffith; text courtesy of the Ames High School website)


On September 12, officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These individuals have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $32 million that will be offered next spring.

Ames High School had thirteen students achieve Semifinalists status this year. To become a Finalist according to the NMSC, the Semifinalist and his or her high school 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® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The thirteen semifinalists from Ames mark some of the highest totals in the state. Congratulations to these students!

The Ames High School National Merit Semifinalists:

  • Elena Andrews
  • Hector Arbuckle
  • Emma Cai
  • Channing Che
  • Nicole Cho
  • Dana Gustafson
  • Ryan Jeong
  • Rucha Kelkar
  • Melissa Liu
  • Samuel Packard
  • Caroline Paxton
  • Benjamin Steward
  • Tianxin Xu

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