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Sixty-five District 196 seniors are receiving special recognition this fall for scores they achieved on a national standardized test that they took last year as juniors.

Fifteen of the 65 students have been named semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program and 47 are being recognized as National Merit commended students. Names of the semifinalists in this 63rd annual scholarship program were released Sept. 13 by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The 15 National Merit semifinalists from District 196 are:

Edward Naughton and Cori Roberts of Apple Valley High School;

Viola El-Afandi, Benned Hedegaard and Christopher Weinberger of Eagan High School;

Andrew Borg, Tyler Dodge, Ethan Lord, Brandon Nguyen, Molly Olander, Alexander Pan, Viraj Rajanayagam and Bryant Ruff of Eastview High School, and

Benjamin Haisting and Jahmaine Yambing of Rosemount High School.

Students are selected for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program based on their scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which they take as juniors. Semifinalists rank in the top 1 percent of the approximately 1.6 million high school juniors who took the test last year in the United States. The semifinalists may submit additional information to be considered for selection as a finalist. Students named National Merit finalists will compete for some 7,500 scholarships totaling more than $32 million that will be awarded next spring by businesses, colleges and universities, and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Students whose scores on the PSAT/NMSQT rank them in the top 5 percent of students nationwide receive letters of commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. In District 196, the following 47 seniors are 2018 National Merit commended students:

Kenan Lumantas, Nina Moschkau and Benjamin Schwartz of Apple Valley High;

Truman Brown, Jeffrey Chen, Elsie Goren, Kendra Held, Nicholas Johnson, Benjamin Leiran, Jessica Lundquist, Maxwell Marshall, Madeline Matsoff, Dane Miller, Kennan Miller, Lars Olson, Theresa Passe, Reece Peters, Colette Sandborgh, Madeline Sandish, Quenton Steffen, Charles Stock and Anne J. Wong of Eagan High;

Ross Abram, Yasmin Afifi, Sauviz Alaei, Edmund Buscho, Ada Erdahl, Keran Han, Jordan Homstad, Akarshna Iyer, Jordan Kennedy, Jackson Lee, Alexander Moon, Sarah Most, Namita Nair and Benjamin Patterson of Eastview High;

Devin Beck, Maija Beckwith, Mylaney Bleick, Sophia Depaulis, Chancellor Farmer, Lani Lee, Emma Oss, Jason Senthil, Nicholas Stoner and Tanner Wenzel of Rosemount High, and

Madeleine Westenberg of the School of Environmental Studies.

In addition, Nicholas Lutton of Eastview High and Landon Borges and Thomas Edelman of Eagan High were selected for the National Hispanic Recognition Program, sponsored by The College Board, based on their scores on the PSAT/NMSQT last year.

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