30 Local Students Achieve National Merit Finalist Status

By Amanda Roland

Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) announced that 30 students from local high schools are finalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship program. 

This program is extremely prestigious and indicates great academic excellence. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recently informed the finalists of their status, and the finalists have a chance to be awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships, according to ACPS. 

“To qualify, students must earn among the nation’s highest scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT),” according to an ACPS press release. “About 1.6 million students take the exam every year. About 16,000 of those students were named semifinalists in the program back in the fall, with about 15,000 reaching finalist status.”

This year, the finalists come from three schools in Alachua County: Gainesville High School, Eastside High School and Santa Fe High School. This year’s finalists include Vinay Arun, Javier Fernandez-Ambite, Keelyn Fife, Zachary Freeman, Bryan Han, Anna Hennis, Thomas Lancer, Claire Levin, Natalie Oyenarte, Sterling Reed, Nicholas Swanger, Tyler Wycoff and Richard Ye from Gainesville High School; Wilson Bullard, Alexander Dang, Samuel Disabb, Brindha Rathinasabapathi, Lauren Shaw, Ameia Smith, Clara Summerford, Andrew Tran and Himanshi Verma from Eastside High School; Edward Beck, Amy Cohen, Helena Jiang, Jiawei Ma, Kira Nagoshi, Bailey Tucker and Kelly Wang from Buchholz High School; and Lacey Walls from Santa Fe High School.

Congratulations to all of the hardworking students who earned finalist status!