2 WAHS students named National Merit semifinalists

Three Williamsport Area High School students were recently recognized as part of the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program, two of whom have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth about $35 million that will be offered next spring.

Seniors Genevieve Beatty and Sabrina Emms are among about 16,000 semifinalists in the 59th annual National Scholarship Program.

Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

At the high school, Beatty is involved with Strolling Strings, PETROS and Model U.N. Emms is a member of the Strolling Strings, ConCon and Model U.N.

Additionally, senior Madison Confair was named as one of the 34,000 2014 Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Although they will not continue in the 2014 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2014 competition by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Confair is involved with cross-country, track and field, ConCon and Model U.N.

“I applaud and I’m pleased with our students’ efforts that earned each of them recognition from this prestigious national program,” said Head Principal Michael Reed, who described each of the students as “extraordinary student leaders.”

“Each embraces challenges that will stretch personal growth and still makes time to be heavily involved in countless leadership and service-based activities,” Reed said.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by the corporation with its own funds and by about 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share the corporation’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.